After the release of a full-length album in 2021 and an EP in 202, Hanging Garden return with their 8th full-length entitled “The Garden”. The new (old) drummer Antti Ruokola, who was a member of the band from 2009 to 2015, also appears on the new album.
The band continues to blend gothic, doom/death and atmospheric metal with various melodic and melancholic elements. The way they combine the clear male vocals, and the growls along with the ethereal female ones, creates a strong contrast that adds depth and diversity to their music. The production is full and dynamic. The album was produced by Jussi Hämäläinen (vocals, guitars) and Jarno Hänninen (Dead End Finland, Unshine, Fear of Domination, etc.), who also did the mixing and mastering at D-studio. The cover artwork was done by the Finnish artist Kalle Pyyhtinen (Entwine, Kamara, Fragilehollow, etc.).
The album’s instrumentation and sounds are varied, with lush soundscapes created by atmospheric keyboards, and synths. The use of these elements creates a distinct sound that adds depth and complexity to the album. Even though the music is dark, atmospheric and melancholic, there seems to be hope and light in the midst of the familiar darkness, regarding the lyrical part.
After listening to the album several times, my favorite tracks are, “The Garden”, “The Four Winds”, “The Construct”, “The Song of Spring”, “The Nightfall”, “The Stolen Fire”, “The Derelict Way”, “The Fireside” and “The Resolute”.
In a nutshell, “The Garden” is a fabulous album that displays Hanging Garden’s ability to create atmospheric and compelling music, while maintaining their gothic and doom/death metal roots. Both the old and the new fans will be completely satisfied. If gloomy, atmospheric and sorrowful doom/death metal is your thing, you should check out this album!