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Alunah: Awakening the Forest

It seems to be all the rage these days for young doom metal bands to take on a psychedelic edge, add in occult & pagan lyrical themes, and front it all with a female vocalist. The UK's Alunah have been at this a few years now, and their latest release for Napalm Records, Awakening the Forest, is actually a cool slab of spooky doom that should satisfy any fan of this ever growing trend. Comprised of Soph Day (Vocals & Guitar), Dave Day (Guitar), Dan Burchmore (Bass), and Jake Mason (Drums), they take their love for Black Sabbath, St Vitus, and Pentagram but mix in a healthy dose of mysticism & psychedelia, songs like "Bricket Wood Coven" and "Heavy Bough" almost sounding like a soundtrack to an old Hammer or Amicus film about witches, demons, and evil spirits, but of course with plenty of crushing, heavy metal riffing. Most of the tempos here are fairly slow and ponderous, the title track a perfect example of how these guys lock into a massive groove and stay keyed in there, with Soph providing the element of variety as she soars & dives with her ethereal, angelic vocal delivery. "The Mask of Herne" has some of the best riffs on the album, followed by the huge, dinosaur stomp of "Scourge and the Kiss", which gets my pick as the most impressive piece here thanks not only to the cool riffing, but the downright creepy yet beautiful middle section. If you want pure atmosphere that's dripping with understated menace, check out the 9-minute, melancholy "The Summerland", which contains some gorgeous vocals from Soph.

If I have any complaint with Awakening the Forest, it's that much of the album is a tad one note, with very little variance on the tempos or tones of most of these songs. It is however all very well crafted and executed, featuring some great guitar work and of course those exceptional vocals. A very solid release that should please any atmospheric doom metal fan.

Track Listing

  1. Bricket Wood Coven
  2. Heavy Bough
  3. Awakening The Forest
  4. The Mask Of Herne
  5. Scourge And The Kiss
  6. The Summerland

Added: September 27th 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1530
Language: english

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