Anyone who has been residing on this side of the Atlantic and consider themselves fans of screamo are bound to know Suis La Lune well. If not, then… now is the time to get on board. Definitely not newcomers by any means, the Swedish troupe could quite rightly be considered one of the more talented European players of the genre. ‘Riala’ touches down as the bands second full length album, six years on from their previous ‘Quiet, Pull The Strings!’ LP, but stands as proof that the band are still going strong.
Crashing chords and counter-melodies on ‘Cornea’ greet your ears before heading into ‘Stop Motion’, where the guitars of Henning Runolf and Karl Sladö show off even more stunning parts. From these two tracks alone it’s clear very early on that the band’s musicianship and songwriting has come on leaps and bounds. There is indeed a lot more melody to be found in these tracks – or perhaps just that their melodic approach is a lot more clarified – something that is well and truly apparent once you hit track five, ‘In Confidence’. Here, they bring in some beautiful sequences and sung vocals which complement the guitars perfectly. The title track stands as a clear highlight, showcasing two and a half minutes of reverb drenched beauty which outlines the general mood which purveys the whole record and leads into its closing stages.
Too often in Screamo music, interesting records can be let down by the production qualities and mix that is used on them. The tendency for guitars to be too loud and drums to be far too feeble can hold records back from reaching their full potential. Though this may have crept in on the band’s previous output, on ‘Riala’ Suis La Lune are sounding far more dynamic and hit you harder than ever before.
Another area where ‘Riala’ succeeds is that of form. Where in the past Suis La Lune records might not have been as glued together track for track, this record feels like an altogether more fully formed piece of art – one that is just the right length and one that delivers emotional highs and lows across its lifespan. And at the end of the day, what band wouldn’t aspire to create an album like that?