Alunah - Awakening The Forest review




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Reviewer:
7.5

21 users:
7.90
Band: Alunah
Album: Awakening The Forest
Release date: October 2014


01. Bricket Wood Coven
02. Heavy Bough
03. Awakening The Forest
04. The Mask Of Herne
05. Scourge And The Kiss
06. The Summerland


Alunah have run the gamut of stoner doom metal across their studio recordings. Or perhaps lumber the gamut is a more appropriate way to put it, and their third album finds them at their most unbowed and traditionally doom delivering. To a style such as theirs the concept of "new" seems disingenuous as their identity here depends on a personalised refurbishment of sounds old and slow. Vocally heralding such devotion, the first four lyrical utterances of the record determine the band's most distinguishing feature; "There was a lady."

With a style such as that of Alunah, the deeper the roots run in the soils of traditional doom metal, the more firmly grounded their song writing becomes, here finding the band at their most resolutely repetitive. Stubbornly so, perhaps, to the point where those who would arm themselves with hatchets bearing the critical inscription of "generic" have a futile task ahead of them if they decide upon hacking away relentlessly with little forethought at the stylistic basis of Awakening The Forest. Sure, this all sounds generically designed, but I suspect that's largely the point; to sound explicitly traditional or "classic," as much as strive to personalise the effort. Many try and fail to create a point of individuality or a sound that differs in a context such as this, not so for Alunah.

This is managed most clearly in the vocal performance; the substantive instrumentation which builds the bulk of the record would be stylistically unremarkable without it, even if it is performed with obvious competency and an impressionable simplicity to the riffs. For the purposes of Awakening The Forest, the sound is noticeably situated in the rarely relenting exercises of the low-end, which, when coupled with the continually gradual song progressions, generates the band's most doom metal oriented effort and their stoner side seems restrained as a consequence. Infrequently does Alunah come up for a bit of air or a break to the monotony with a stoner metal lead, as was demonstrated in the more varied approach to the mixed and more variable song writing of the previous record, White Hoarhound. Although the closer "The Summerland" goes a long way (literally, it clocking at nine minutes) to restoring this absence in an expansively hazy vibe.

The album often proceeds in a manner begging for enhancement of this stoner side in light of what preceded it; a more actively psychedelic approach is missing here, and given what was well utilised on White Hoarhound in terms of acoustic and atmospheric effects seems forgotten, opting instead for a clearer direction of the rhythm section and vocal accompaniment. Where some psychedelia is established these elements are minimal and receive little of an audible emphasis, such as the barely noticeable distortions that work their way underneath the mix as "Bricket Wood Coven" draws near its completion. As the record proceeds, doom prevails above all else, to which the vocal arrangements respond and accommodate well.

The simultaneity of the highlight in "Heavy Bough" is a good example of the band's more up-tempo focus, as it sets a continually and palpably heavy rhythm that well suits its name, and demonstrates the band in complete cohesion, vocally and instrumentally.

All things considered, this record demonstrates that Alunah are more than capable of providing a varied recording of their style from album to album. There's no doubting that they deliver as a distinctive unit, and offer their own renditions of varied stoner accentuated doom.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 8


 



Written on 29.09.2014 by R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.


Comments

Comments: 4   Visited by: 72 users
29.09.2014 - 21:11
Draugen
About time this band was added!

I'm not sure what to think about this album apparently focusing less on the psychedelic aspect of their sound as that was what stood out to me the most on the previous ones. Oh well, I'm still eagerly looking forward to getting my hands on it as soon as possible.
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30.09.2014 - 05:21
R'Vannith
ghedengi
Written by Draugen on 29.09.2014 at 21:11

About time this band was added!

I'm not sure what to think about this album apparently focusing less on the psychedelic aspect of their sound as that was what stood out to me the most on the previous ones. Oh well, I'm still eagerly looking forward to getting my hands on it as soon as possible.


Before adding bands I usually check under the "band suggestions" section we have here on the site, and I noticed you had suggested Alunah way back in 2011! So it is about time, I think.

I prefer the previous album over this, although this one is their more professionally produced and "mature," if you will. I do miss the strength of the psychedelic aspect that White Hoarhound had. Aside from that though, this is quality doom.
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30.09.2014 - 06:39
theembryo
I dig this band - well done indeed adding them to the great MS site! The video for "Heavy Bough" is kind of funny as well.
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30.09.2014 - 06:56
R'Vannith
ghedengi
Written by theembryo on 30.09.2014 at 06:39

I dig this band - well done indeed adding them to the great MS site! The video for "Heavy Bough" is kind of funny as well.


I hadn't seen that vid, thanks for pointing that out! Great track it is:
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