Dan Swanö is some kind of musical octopus. It seems like there is not a thing he can’t do. He contributed musically to bands like Edge of Sanity, Nightingale, Bloodbath and Katatonia and mixed or produced album for bands like Dark Funeral, Dissection, Evergrey, Gates of Ishtar, Hearse, Opeth, Pain, Therion … (the list goes on). If there is one album where he laid down all his skills it is in his solo effort Moontower, an album created after his departure from Edge of Sanity. Swanö recorded all instruments, sung clean and grunt vocals, produced the album and mixed it.
The album has a vintage progressive rock feeling to it. This is mainly because of the extensive use of synths. Swanö is said to have described the album as ‘Rush playing death metal in the 70’s’. Throughout the majority of the album he uses classic death metal vocals, but occasionally we are treated with his warm clean voice as well. A downside of the album could be that the overall feeling of the songs is quite the same throughout, but a fan of progressive rock let’s himself be surprised by a piano intermezzo in one song, an acoustic guitar part in another or bass or drum fills scattered over the album. While the genre could best be described as progressive death, mainly fans of progressive rock/metal will appreciate this unique solo album.
*Fun fact: the album cover is a close up of Dan Swanö’s eye.
**It was released in January the 26th 1999 via Black Mark.
1. Sun of the Night
4. Add Reality
5. Creating Illusions
6. The Big Sleep
8. In Empty Phrases