Hanging Garden
Into That Good Night

If you’re like me, then the Fall and Winter seasons sees an influx in your doomy/gothic/rocking death metal listening schedule. Whether it be the colder temperatures, the dying/dead fauna, the colorless and cloudy skies, or the realization that we as individuals and as a whole are yet another year closer to our own demise, this time of year is simply hospitable to the sounds of sadness and depression mixed with heaviness and/or brutality. I have always found solace in the somberness of artists that apply these traits at this particular time of year, and this past Fall and Winter months were no different. Though this time around my Autumn/Winter fix was satiated with a newcomer. Well, a newcomer to me, as Finland’s, Hanging Garden have actually been around for a bit now and their new album in question, Into That Good Night, is actually the band’s sixth release. Oh well, better late to the party than never I guess.

Fantastically traversing and coalescing the post death/doom, gothic, and hard rock genres, Hanging Garden creates one hell of an exceptional and cohesively put together album with Into That Good Night. The band brings to mind and mixes the influences of some terrific peers in the form of November’s Doom, Paradise Lost, Swallow the Sun, October Tide, Katatonia, Draconian, Officium Triste, and even Eyes of Fire; though they  manage to always stay true to their own sound  and intentions, and never come off as gimmicky or aping of  their influencers. In fact, not only would I say that Into That Good Night stands toe to toe with the all of the aforementioned band’s latest albums, but I would go as far as to say, that Hanging Garden actually bests the majority of them with Into That Good Night. Kind of a lofty claim, but the album really is that good.

Honestly, it’s hard for me to even do justice to the tracks when picking them apart, and picking an album highight is nigh impossible. Thats okay though, as all of the album’s material satisfies immensely and each track contains more than a few highlights all to themselves, as well as all being equally on point with one another. While each song easily stands on its own, the album hits best when taken as a whole. Though one can hardly deny the individual power and beauty of tracks like album opener, “Love and Curses” or “Fear Longing, Hope, and the Night”. Much less the Paradise Lost rich vibes of both, “Silent Sentinels” and “Anamnesis”, the Draconian-esque, light and alluring, “Navigator”, or the album’s title track, “Into That Good Night”, and its contrasting hues of crushing and guttural mixed with beauty and charm. Yet as powerful as all of the album’s songs are, when consumed en masse they become that much more engaging, evoking, and captivating.

There’s a beguiling heaviness to Into That Good Night. The album contains an underlying darkness to it that doesn’t initially revel its sinister nature, but after a few spins, its eldritch core definitely worms its way into your being. The listen isn’t an in your face brutality or harshness, but an ethereal, compressing, emotional weight that speaks just as loudly and crushes just as effectively; maybe even more so, as the impassioned melodies and ideas stick to your ribs and get strongly caught up in one’s heartstrings. No, this isn’t metal for kicking down doors in barbaric rages, but for reflective contemplations and broody ponderings.

There’s quite a lot of great things Into That Good Night has going for it. Not only is the material and performances of the band’s members solid as a rock, but the album’s production is damn near perfect in capturing everything in an acute mix and presentation; especially in the vocals of, now full time member, Riikka Hatakka. Her voice is simply stunning and beautiful and adds a great component to both “Rain” and “Signs of Affection”, as well as taking lead duties in the seductively somber calling of “Navigator”. With her on board now for future endeavors, the appeal of Hanging Garden becomes that much stronger, and it was never hurting to begin with. I feel Hanging Garden and Into That Good Night somewhat suffered from the album being released right at the begninng of the end of the year, AKA the holiday season, and even though we’re about to exit that prime time season for indulging in quality somber despondencies, you shouldn’t let Into That Good Night pass you by any longer. While there are a plethora of bands and releases of this ilk to choose from, just in the past year alone, I highly recommend giving Into That Good Night some undivided attention, I doubt you will regret it.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
March 30th, 2020


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