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Hanging Garden – Neither Moth nor Rust Award winner

Hanging Garden
Neither Moth nor Rust
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 12 February 2022, 9:35 AM

 HANGING GARDEN formed in Finland in 2004. They have release seven full-length albums, and now return with a six-track EP titled “Neither Moth nor Rust.” The album contains six tracks. The title track leads off the album. It opens with a slow, melodic passage with a somewhat heavy riff. Female vocals join the bass guitar, and it’s a sad affair. Harsh vocals kick in, and is it me, or do they sound a little like AMOPHIS? “The Last Dance” begins with more meaty bass notes and some clean, harmonized vocals. The riff darkens as harsh vocals enter, creating chaos. But those clean passages are quite melodic and charming. It crescendos towards the end, as the final dancers finish their embrace while the auditorium collapses around them.

“And Leave All Love Behind” begins with more charming tones, but also with a good dose of sadness. Read the title and process it. This could go one of two ways…a longing for a lost love, or a hopeful look to the future. The listener will have to decide for themselves which element will win. It’s a very pretty song either way. “The Raven Portrait” is an under-three-minute piano led song, with melancholy and pensive tones. You want to sink into your study on a cold rainy day and just get lost in a good book for the day. “On the Shore of Eternity” opens with clean guitars and doleful strings, leading to a heavier sound. The vocals are tense but clean with harmonies. A foul voice spews out some spoken words, warning you that these shores are not fit for mortal man.

“Field of Reed” closes the album. Electronic drums occupy the beginning, along with keys. These guys pull out all the stops on the album. Piano notes combine with strings in very beautiful song that is marred with a deep longing for something else that might be out there. This is some high level and complex music, but that doesn’t stop it from being totally accessible. Indeed, the melodic elements are very catchy, while the harsh elements are quite dark and angry. The balance between the two is what makes the album as great as it is. It is easy to draw comparisons with fellow country-mates AMORPHIS and SWALLOW THE SUN, but dig deeper, because this veteran act has a sound all their own, and it is glorious. I only wish the album had a few more tracks.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Neither Moth nor Rust
2. The Last Dance
3. And Leave All Love Behind
4. The Raven Portrait
5. On the Shore of Eternity
6. Field of Reeds
Mikko Kolari – Guitars
Jussi Hämäläinen – Guitars, Vocals
Nino Hynninen – Keyboards
Toni Hatakka – Vocals
Jussi Kirves – Bass
Sami Forsstén – Drums
Riikka Hatakka – Vocals
Record Label: Lifeforce Records


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