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Dan Swanö - Moontower CD (album) cover

MOONTOWER

Dan Swanö

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.87 | 43 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Moontower is the debut and so far only "real" solo album by the prolific swedish musician and producer Dan Swanö. The album was released in January 1999 by Black Mark Productions. Dan Swanö is maybe THE most respected musician on the Swedish extreme metal scene and has been a member of several high profile bands and contributed to even more either as a session musician or as producer. He is a multi-instrumentalist, and are able to sing both beautiful clean vocals as well as brutal growls. I´ll name just some of the bands he has contributed to here: Edge Of Sanity, Nightingale, Pan.Thy.Monium, Katatonia, Bloodbath, Maceration, Unicorn and many more. Dan Swanö mostly operates in the field between death metal and prog rock/ experimental rock.

The music on Moontower is melodic synth heavy death metal with brutal growling vocals ( and a few clean ones). The tempo in the songs is mostly kept slow- to mid-paced, so while I´m mostly thinking of Edge Of Sanity when I listen to Moontower, you shouldn´t expect blast beats or faster parts on this album. The omnipresent synths and organ is what makes this project stand out from many other death metal projects by Dan Swanö. A few years later the 8th full-length studio album by Edge Of Sanity called Crimson II (2003) would also feature extensive use of synths and it´s probably that album that Moontower reminds me about the most. There are several nods towards the semi-progressive rock/ metal of Nightingale too though. Tracks like Sun of the Night and Uncreation are downright infectious but most tracks on the album grow upon repeated listens. There´s an epic atmosphere that´s a central part of the sound on the album.

The album is well produced and the musicianship impeccable. Dan Swanö handles everything from vocals to instruments and production on Moontower.

It´s actually the second time I´ve reviewed Moontower in the last couple of years and truth is I wasn´t too impressed the first time. I felt the album lacked dynamics and variation and while some of those complaints still hold true, repeated listens over a couple of years have made me appreciate Moontower a lot more and I´ve raised my rating from 3 to 3.5 stars.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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