Rating:
9.0
40 Watt Sun - The Inside Room
4 March 2011


01. Restless
02. Open My Eyes
03. Take Me In [vinyl bonus]
04. Between Times
05. Carry Me Home
06. This Alone


When last we left Pat Walker he was playing guitar and providing heart-wrenching vocals for Warning on the powerful Watching From A Distance album. That album found itself on many staff "best of the 00's" lists. Then things fell through. Band imploded. Kablooey.

Four years later Pat Walker is back with two new mates, bassist William Spong and drummer Christian Leitch, a new band, 40 Watt Sun, and a new album, The Inside Room.

Glancing from a distance it seems that the new project is more of the same. Both albums are traditional doom performed by three pieces with five tracks spanning between 45 and 50 minutes. However, there are several differences between the two which jump out at the listener.

First and foremost, Pat really cranked the vocal dramatics up to 11 on Watching From A Distance, whereas in The Inside Room he's reigned them in. They're still packed with the familiar emotional punch (i.e. 'whiny' to some of you), but they are far more subdued. For those who liked his prior vocal works, you'll still enjoy his performance here. Those of you who were driven off by that aspect of WFaD might find this new approach more palatable.

The second huge adjustment is in the sound of the band. Despite playing a very similar style of music, 40 Watt Sun has a different personality. Whereas Watching From A Distance was very stripped down and stark, The Inside Room feels a lot warmer. The guitars are the biggest reason for this. Walker's guitar tone has changed as well. It's a more fuzzed-out overdrive style distortion which he allows to ring out a bit. Honestly, it basically sounds like they were cutting this album down the hall from Jesu, and Walker borrowed Justin Broadrick's rig to record the guitar tracks.

Spong and Leitch do a swell job providing the backbone of the album. The drums plod along, keeping the songs moving, but with some nice but not overwhelming flourishes that enhance the songs. The bass also functions in a similar manner, with some moments of expression that do not dampen the spotlight from the guitar-wielding front man.

All in all The Inside Room contains enough similarities to Walker's preceding project to give his audience what they want, but enough of a shift in sound to not just seem like Watching From A Distance Part Deux: Stalking From Afar. The new album and project are certainly strong enough to stand on their own, and in the (40 watt) sunlight, as opposed to residing in the shadow of Walker's past glories.

If you enjoyed Warning's final opus, it is extremely likely you will thoroughly enjoy this as well. If you are unfamiliar with his prior band, well, my suggestion is to buy both...

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: 40 Watt Sun
Album: The Inside Room


 



Written on 21.04.2011 by
BitterCOld
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by BitterCOld ››



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Mikyz - 21.04.2011 at 10:20  
Good Review, I don't think you missed anything there, the production is very different, the guitar takes the forefront over Pat's vocals, but it works nonetheless. Also, this isn't as crushing or overwhelming as Warning, it has a soft side. It gives off a feeling of longing instead of desperation. It's good that it wasn't just a rehashed copy of Watching From a Distance.
Collin - 21.04.2011 at 10:40  
"Those of you who were driven off by that aspect of WFaD might find this new approach more palatable." - Exactly, the only thing that turned me off Warning was the vocals and the fact that they were way too whiny and emphasized, whereas I think they're the strongest feature of 40 Watt Sun. Good thing Walker stopped being annoyingly over-emotional. Not much to say about the rest, it's a great trad doom album, possibly one of my favourites this year (I haven't heard a lot of 2011 releases though).

Oh, and Mr COld, did you fuck up the only French word in your review on purpose just to piss me off or do you honestly not know that "Part Deaux" must actually read "Part Deux"?
IronAngel - 21.04.2011 at 11:07  
Cool, you're the first person I've seen noticing/mentioning the Jesu vibe. That was the first parallell I thought of when I got the album, not having heard Warning before.

I think the prominent role of the guitar is a little misleading: there are very few memorable riffs, so though the vocals are somewhat on the background of the fuzzy guitar sound, they're what drives the melody. That may be a bit of a weakness; this album would be mind-numbingly boring without the vocals. But since we don't have to listen to it without the vocals, I guess that doesn't matter so much. It's damn good as is.
BudDa - 21.04.2011 at 11:13  
"Watching From A Distance Part Deux: Stalking From Afar"....
Hahahahahaha. That just killed me. lol
Marcel Hubregtse - 21.04.2011 at 13:03  
Btw am I the only one who hears more R.E.M. than other bands in here? (due to the vocals I think)
Ivor - 21.04.2011 at 13:43  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 21.04.2011 at 13:03

Btw am I the only one who hears more R.E.M. than other bands in here? (due to the vocals I think)

Trying out the samples on the website I must agree with you that the vocals do sound quite a bit like Michael Stipe.

I.
Troy Killjoy - 21.04.2011 at 14:36  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 21.04.2011 at 13:03

Btw am I the only one who hears more R.E.M. than other bands in here? (due to the vocals I think)

You're definitely not the only one Marcel. Their profile page at last.fm is littered with people comparing them to REM, and a lot of people are claiming 40 Watt aren't even metal as a result of that (different topic altogether, but worth mentioning). I think I remember reading a review or two that brings up REM/Stipe.
BloodTears - 21.04.2011 at 14:53  
I find the REM-type vocals on some songs more than others, but it's definitely there.

I've only listened to this album once so far, but I liked it.
Troy Killjoy - 21.04.2011 at 14:59  
I never got into Warning so I doubt I'll get into this. I'll give it a shot before the end of the month hopefully, if I have time. My expectations aren't any higher than if I were listening to another Warning album.
BitterCOld - 21.04.2011 at 19:07  
Written by Collin on 21.04.2011 at 10:40


Oh, and Mr COld, did you fuck up the only French word in your review on purpose just to piss me off or do you honestly not know that "Part Deaux" must actually read "Part Deux"?


i'd like to say "yes, it was just to piss you off", but sadly it was a mistake. Or i was referring to the stalking taking place at a specific Commune at the Gard district in the south of France.

as for "REM", the only thing "REM" is that Stipe also employs a whiny voice. That doesn't make them particularly similar. or at least not compared to the REM i've heard.
Troy Killjoy - 22.04.2011 at 03:22  
Well that's good to hear the music isn't similar (otherwise we wouldn't be calling it metal), but I still have to give it a go so I'll reserve my judgment.




For now!
Merchant of Doom - 22.04.2011 at 11:32  
Fuzzy, slowed-down, R.E.M. - I don't quite get the hype.
Ragana - 23.04.2011 at 00:32  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 21.04.2011 at 14:59

I never got into Warning so I doubt I'll get into this.

I thought so too, but I was wrong. This is a good album and whatever I didn't like about Warning, well, it's not found on this album.
Troy Killjoy - 23.04.2011 at 00:37  
Written by Ragana on 23.04.2011 at 00:32

I thought so too, but I was wrong. This is a good album and whatever I didn't like about Warning, well, it's not found on this album.

*sigh* I guess I don't have any more excuses to not check this out then.

Curse you.
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.04.2011 at 00:45  
Yeah you've been told, bitch.

Is it safe to say this is Doomgaze? Or is that patently ricidulous?
Troy Killjoy - 23.04.2011 at 00:48  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 23.04.2011 at 00:45

Or is that patently ricidulous?

As ridiculous as spelling ricidulous.
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.04.2011 at 00:50  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 23.04.2011 at 00:48

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 23.04.2011 at 00:45

Or is that patently ricidulous?

As ridiculous as spelling ricidulous.

That was a genuine error that I decided to keep as it was. Because you never know, maybe it'll become popular on t'internet.
Troy Killjoy - 23.04.2011 at 00:52  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 23.04.2011 at 00:50

That was a genuine error that I decided to keep as it was. Because you never know, maybe it'll become popular on t'internet.

Not as popular as this album has become among doom fans.

I've got it queued up on my Zune so I'll let everybody know what I think of it once I'm finished. Because I know my opinion matters the most to everyone on this site.
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.04.2011 at 00:54  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 23.04.2011 at 00:52

Not as popular as this album has become among doom fans.

I've got it queued up on my Zune so I'll let everybody know what I think of it once I'm finished. Because I know my opinion matters the most to everyone on this site.

I think everyone left the site a few years ago Dude. Now no one cares about you.

Ok I was hoping "everyone" would be highlighted there but it wasn't. So the funniness has gone somewhat.
Troy Killjoy - 23.04.2011 at 00:55  
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.04.2011 at 00:56  
The fact you have that as your Facebook profile pic saddens me greatly...
Merchant of Doom - 23.04.2011 at 01:12  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 23.04.2011 at 00:45

Yeah you've been told, bitch.

Is it safe to say this is Doomgaze? Or is that patently ricidulous?


yep... I can't tell one song from the other... despite being 10 min. long...
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.04.2011 at 01:15  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 23.04.2011 at 01:12


yep... I can't tel one song from the other... despite being 10 min. long...

Heh, after a couple of listens I found they were all pretty distinct. The songs are too long however and there's repetition going on.
Merchant of Doom - 23.04.2011 at 10:50  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 23.04.2011 at 01:15


Heh, after a couple of listens I found they were all pretty distinct. The songs are too long however and there's repetition going on.


You managed a couple of listens? I think to say there are "repetitions" is a bit of an understatement...
Spirit Molecule - 27.04.2011 at 14:10  
I checked this one out after hearing so much about it on last.fm
Apparently my empathy gland is busted according to those folks as i didn't appreciate it as much as them
Overall it was a decent album. Good review though
InnerSelf - 27.04.2011 at 15:48  
Great review
I just got it yesterday and listened to it 5 times until now and I can comfortably say that this is superior to WFAD (I know many would disagree) but this is as you said warmer less whiny and more focused and right to the point . still very emotional and full of sing along parts the only aspect that WFAD beats this is the dramatic sense to it. everything else that I wanted to say was mentioned above .

this is going to be a great year for Doom metal
MechanisT - 08.05.2011 at 22:01  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 23.04.2011 at 00:55




If by this you mean you don't understand the hype of the album, then no, you're not.
Slayer666 - 10.05.2011 at 00:42  
I'm totally hopping on the "ZOMG, DIS IZ TEH AWSM!" bandwagon.
It kinda sucks that Walker's vocals aren't the emotional bazooka they were on WFAD, but I guess these more mellow ones fit the sound of this album better.
All in all, it's a pretty damn good piece of modern-sounding Doom, can't wait for the next one.
Kuroboshi - 10.06.2011 at 13:03  
This one was easier to get into than WFAD. Really awesome album. Carry Me Home really stands out!
Susan - 11.09.2011 at 04:34  
Well, *I* get the hype of this album! Great review of it too, I especially agree when you talk about the warmth of the guitars. The whole atmosphere created by the guitars and vocals doesn't remind me of anything else released this year.
Mr. Doctor - 11.09.2011 at 10:52  
Written by Susan on 11.09.2011 at 04:34

Well, *I* get the hype of this album! Great review of it too, I especially agree when you talk about the warmth of the guitars. The whole atmosphere created by the guitars and vocals doesn't remind me of anything else released this year.


It has such a warm and fuzzyfeeling to it. Like a nice hug


I meaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan iiiit
I meaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan iiit
Take this longing from theeeeeeese...
Reeeeeeestleeeeess eyeeeeees


Evil Chip - 26.09.2011 at 04:36  
I want to live in the arms of Patrick Walker. I want to lay in his belly while he sings Take the longing from me. Seriously he is beautiful.
InnerSelf - 26.09.2011 at 18:13  
Written by Evil Chip on 26.09.2011 at 04:36

I want to live in the arms of Patrick Walker. I want to lay in his belly while he sings Take the longing from me. Seriously he is beautiful.


*insert homophobic remark*
Oaken - 16.08.2012 at 22:42  
Decent album, yet I find it a bit repetitive.

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