Hanging Garden-Into That Good Night
As the decade comes to a close, metal fans will remember all the great releases that had come out in the past ten years. But before we reach 2020, we still have a few more albums to get through.
One of such, from the masters of Finnsh melodic death/doom, Hanging Garden, with their latest release, “Into That Good Night”, an album that I had been anticipating for quite some time now. Having recently reconnected with Hanging Garden, I was excited to hear that they were releasing new music; this year would also see the second installment of their “Backwoods Sessions” series, featuring select tracks from 2017’s “I Am Become”.
When “Into That Good Night”, the title track, was released at 3am my time, I was hooked immediately. It began with a moody riff, captures your attention immediately with its softness. It sets the atmosphere for a fading summer going into a colder autumn. Because, you know, autumn is the best time to put out a melodic death/doom album. It starts slow, the riffs and the soothing clean vocals, and then hits the listener in the face with a powerful riff and guttural growls. An easy choice as a first single, featuring all the elements Hanging Garden is known for, from the raw emotions in each sung word, to the slow and melodic riffs in between.
“Rain” follows this in both single and album, picking right up where “Into That Good Night” left off, and here is the first time we hear vocalist Riikka Hatakka, who was brought in as an official member prior to the release of “Into That Good Night”. Her angelic vocals mixed with the bestial growls of both Tomi Toivonen and Jussi Hämäläinen makes for a lovely, harmonic beauty and the beast dynamic that’s one of the best in the business. Coming from someone who doesn’t really enjoy the beauty and the beast dynamic as much as I used to, this is a big deal. “Rain” is reminiscent of old October Tide, “Rain Without End”, and I have to wonder if it’s a trick, or as we in the gaming field call it, an Easter egg. Because if so, very clever! “Rain” is a beautiful duet between the two vocalists, controlled chaos through a wild rainstorm, yet also soothing after a hot, and humid summer day.
If the name Riikka Hatakka sounds familiar, it should! She has been featured in both “I Am Become” and “Backwoods Sessions II”, and had also joined Hanging Garden for their live shows throughout Europe. And so, it was only fitting to bring her in as an official member. A fantastic choice!
Her angelic and alluring vocals are especially prominent in the track “Navigator”, towards the end of the album, a soft, slow, post-rock track that’s spacey and trancey. It’s like a light taking you to the end of a dark tunnel, a reprieve after a gloomy quest, a hand in yours.
“Signs of Affection” closes the album, a poetic and romantic duet between Toivonen and Hatakka, based on the epic poem, Kiintymyksen eleitä by Elli Leppä. Another single off “Into That Good Night“, showcasing the magic and chemistry these two vocalists have together. It’s a fitting closer, soft and tender, affectionate.
“Into That Good Night” is a melancholic, forlorn journey and the hope that follows packaged into a 45 minute album full of emotive riffs, thought-provoking vocals, sweet confectionery to the auditory systems. It has absolutely lived to the hype that I had given it earlier this year, and beyond my expectations.
If you’re in the market for new melodic death/doom metal bands, look no further than Hanging Garden, who take the best of everything that’s good about the genre, from their gloomy and sorrowful melodies, to their subdued and soft vocals, emotions in every growl. For fans of acts like Katatonia, Daylight Dies, Rapture, to name a few, check out these young Finns, they might just grab your heart like they have done mine.
“Into That Good Night” is a melancholic, forlorn journey and the hope that follows packaged into a 45 minute album full of emotive riffs, thought-provoking vocals, sweet confectionery to the auditory systems.