Emma Ruth Rundle - On Dark Horses review



Reviewer:
8.5

12 users:
8.58
Band: Emma Ruth Rundle
Album: On Dark Horses
Release date: September 2018


01. Fever Dreams
02. Control
03. Darkhorse
04. Races
05. Dead Set Eyes
06. Light Song
07. Apathy On The Indiana Border
08. You Don't Have To Cry


You liked Marriages? That's cool. You know Marriages is Emma Ruth Rundle's band, right?

Emma Ruth Rundle has been quite a busy artist in the last 10 years. Her first band, The Nocturnes (the indie rock one, not the surf rock one), released its debut EP ten years ago in 2008. Since then, she has released two more albums with said band, performed with post-rock band Red Sparowes on their last album, formed Marriages, and released a few solo albums, too. You might be familiar with Marriages here on Metal Storm, since their latest album, Salome, got both Staff-Picked and nominated in the MSAs in the Alternative category. Her solo work, now numbering four full-lengths, isn't that far behind in heaviness, since Marriages were never that heavy to begin with, but out of those four, On Dark Horses is definitely the heaviest-sounding, so you're in luck.

The dynamic between heavier droning guitar and more tranquil acoustic elements is nothing new to Emma, but On Dark Horses takes what Marked For Death did and puts much more emphasis on the former rather than the latter. So even if it's more electric than its predecessors, and the guitars are rather droning, the sound doesn't feel in any way negative, but in a way quite triumphant, and it gives off a feeling of overcoming that doesn't feel cheesy. The music is definitely moody in its way, so even at its most positive, there is a feeling that all this positivity is in spite of all the negativity and confusion that comes with it, quite in the same way that most third-wave post-rock bands like Explosions In The Sky transmit that moody and nostalgic optimism, but coupled with Emma's '90s-alt-rock-ish reserved but nonetheless evocative vocals.

The very powerful emotional impact that the album has is mostly due to how strong the soundscape behind the voice is constructed and how well the two combine. Emma's guitar playing has been quite a strong quality of her music, but this is actually the first album of hers where the guitar playing isn't entirely hers. This album was recorded after her relocation to Kentucky (might explain the horses theme) with her partner, and his involvement has expanded into guitar-playing as well. The amazing loud but quiet interplay and soundscape-building feels so universal that you could easily find it appealing to indie rock, alt rock, alt country post-rock, post-metal and drone metal fans, which might explain the crossover appeal that Emma Ruth Rundle and other similar artists like Chelsea Wolfe and King Dude have.

Don't worry if, on first listen, you get quite taken aback by "Fever Dreams", the opener, which honestly doesn't feel at all like an opener, rather like a song that should be played after another in a flow. After that misguided opening moment, though, there is absolutely nothing that breaks immersion and said immersion is exceptionally engaging. So now that you've been warned, give it a try.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9


 



Written on 10.11.2018 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 18   Visited by: 96 users
11.11.2018 - 03:32
MetalManic
At this point, you must be a majority shareholder of MS

Thanks for another review. I look forward to checking this one out
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MetalManic
www.MetalManic.com
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11.11.2018 - 12:25
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by MetalManic on 11.11.2018 at 03:32

At this point, you must be a majority shareholder of MS

Thanks for another review. I look forward to checking this one out

I will buy MetalStorm and turn it into IndieRockStorm
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Okay, this is epic!
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11.11.2018 - 12:27
BloodTears
ANA-thema
Yas!! Good review.

Simply put: my AOTY. People who like post-rock and alternative styles should like this.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.


My Instagram
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11.11.2018 - 12:34
that guy
I've just listened to the song Darkhorse and loved it.
As I enjoyed Marriages - Salome, I'm gonna try and listen to this album.
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11.11.2018 - 12:36
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by that guy on 11.11.2018 at 12:34

I've just listened to the song Darkhorse and loved it.
As I enjoyed Marriages - Salome, I'm gonna try and listen to this album.

No shit I'm telling you, that's my favorite song from the album
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Okay, this is epic!
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11.11.2018 - 12:38
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
And if y'all haven't had enough of 2018 female dark indie folk post whatever rock, check this and this out
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Okay, this is epic!
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11.11.2018 - 12:42
BloodTears
ANA-thema
My favourite songs vary from week to week ahah It's been Darkhorse and also Light Song because I love the juxtaposition of voices but also the album closer You Don't Have To Cry.

Emma played You Don't Have To Cry in Portugal and I almost peed my pants
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.


My Instagram
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11.11.2018 - 12:46
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by BloodTears on 11.11.2018 at 12:42

My favourite songs vary from week to week ahah It's been Darkhorse and also Light Song because I love the juxtaposition of voices but also the album closer You Don't Have To Cry.

Emma played You Don't Have To Cry in Portugal and I almost peed my pants

God I wish I could see her live
----
Okay, this is epic!
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11.11.2018 - 13:01
BloodTears
ANA-thema
Written by RaduP on 11.11.2018 at 12:46

Written by BloodTears on 11.11.2018 at 12:42

My favourite songs vary from week to week ahah It's been Darkhorse and also Light Song because I love the juxtaposition of voices but also the album closer You Don't Have To Cry.

Emma played You Don't Have To Cry in Portugal and I almost peed my pants

God I wish I could see her live


She played in Europe recently. Maybe not near Romania? I'm lucky because Emma loves Portugal and always comes here.

Emma's not confirmed for Roadburn? Well, at least you get to see Anna von Hausswolff, which I guarantee will be one of the best live experiences ever Her new album is also massive and live... there are no words.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.


My Instagram
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11.11.2018 - 13:07
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by BloodTears on 11.11.2018 at 13:01


She played in Europe recently. Maybe not near Romania? I'm lucky because Emma loves Portugal and always comes here.

Emma's not confirmed for Roadburn? Well, at least you get to see Anna von Hausswolff, which I guarantee will be one of the best live experiences ever Her new album is also massive and live... there are no words.

Emma was supposed to play at a festival I went to in Romania, but she cancelled. Anna also played at the same festival this year, but in a day in which I couldn't come, so I'm glad I'm gonna see both her and Marissa Nadler at RB
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Okay, this is epic!
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11.11.2018 - 17:31
koob
Another Deathspell Omega ripoff, great...
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11.11.2018 - 17:32
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by koob on 11.11.2018 at 17:31

Another Deathspell Omega ripoff, great...

I'd say it's more Incantation worship, but there's a bit of DsO there too
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Okay, this is epic!
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13.11.2018 - 18:00
Fellow Duh Say
Written by RaduP on 11.11.2018 at 12:46

Written by BloodTears on 11.11.2018 at 12:42

My favourite songs vary from week to week ahah It's been Darkhorse and also Light Song because I love the juxtaposition of voices but also the album closer You Don't Have To Cry.

Emma played You Don't Have To Cry in Portugal and I almost peed my pants

God I wish I could see her live
Loading...
13.11.2018 - 18:09
Fellow Duh Say
Written by RaduP on 11.11.2018 at 12:46

Written by BloodTears on 11.11.2018 at 12:42

My favourite songs vary from week to week ahah It's been Darkhorse and also Light Song because I love the juxtaposition of voices but also the album closer You Don't Have To Cry.

Emma played You Don't Have To Cry in Portugal and I almost peed my pants

God I wish I could see her live

Seen her with Marriages their first tour with Deafheaven in a tiny venue with less than twenty people. A quick aside: She is rather attractive in person. (Not that she isn't attractive not in-person.)
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13.11.2018 - 18:43
Fellow Duh Say
I just made a playlist with ERR, Chelsea Wolfe, Nina Nastasia, Wino, King Woman, the acoustic 40 Watt Sun. I call it dark folk, light doom. Does anyone know if there is a genre name for this style? I heard slowcore as a genre name years ago but not sure it applies. Also, there is a guy named Jay Jayle, I am pretty sure on the same label as ERR/Marriages, that has a similar style people might wanna check out.
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15.11.2018 - 22:30
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Emma's vocals give off a tone that reminds me a lot of Grace Slick. As a huge Jefferson Airplane fan I think that's what initially attracted me to Marriages the first time I heard them, but with her solo work they sound a little more distinct than I remember. Great album and review
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This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
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16.11.2018 - 12:51
BloodTears
ANA-thema
Written by RaduP on 11.11.2018 at 13:07

Written by BloodTears on 11.11.2018 at 13:01


She played in Europe recently. Maybe not near Romania? I'm lucky because Emma loves Portugal and always comes here.

Emma's not confirmed for Roadburn? Well, at least you get to see Anna von Hausswolff, which I guarantee will be one of the best live experiences ever Her new album is also massive and live... there are no words.

Emma was supposed to play at a festival I went to in Romania, but she cancelled. Anna also played at the same festival this year, but in a day in which I couldn't come, so I'm glad I'm gonna see both her and Marissa Nadler at RB


Good news. Emma will perform at Roadburn too I kinda had a feeling she would. Lucky you!
----
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.


My Instagram
Loading...
16.11.2018 - 13:25
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by BloodTears on 16.11.2018 at 12:51

Good news. Emma will perform at Roadburn too I kinda had a feeling she would. Lucky you!

Now all I need is Chelsea Wolfe too and I'm happy
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Okay, this is epic!
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