Alunah – Solennial (Review)

AlunahThis is the fourth album from UK doom metal band Alunah.

An obvious focal point for anyone listening to Alunah is the incredibly impressive singing voice of their vocalist. She has the kind of voice that can soar ethereally, while also providing softer, more intimate vocals when necessary. Showing power and restraint, as well as a full depth and range of emotion, her voice is very much a main part of Alunah’s central identity.

As always with any band of this ilk worth their salt, the music shouldn’t be discounted though. Channelling the spirit of old-school doom and stoner metal, this album is warm, earthy, organic, and perfectly captures what many people like so much about fuzzy, emotive doom.

In many ways you probably already know what the bulk of this album sounds like, as it rigidly adheres to the standards of the style. This is not necessarily a bad thing though, as it allows the band to concentrate on that most important of things – the songs.

So what of these songs? Well, words and terms such as catchy, melodic, seductive, memorable, hook-laden, infectious, etc. are all relevant. This is doom metal that’s full-bodied, well-rounded, well-written, well-executed, and an all-round winner, really. Yep, that’s a lot of hyphens, but I think Solennial deserves it.

The songs have a keen appreciation of light and shade, with the structure of the songs supporting the lighter, more introspective moments easily against the heavier, darker elements. There’s a psychedelic aspect to certain parts of the album, where the band explore their musical roots in a deeper capacity, searching for the quintessence of the style, almost. Everything, ultimately, always comes back to a meaty riff and the gorgeous textured vocals of their singer, but these tentative forays into more explorative, expansive territories are most welcome when they appear.

Solennial is a very strong release from a band that have hit their stride and can seemingly peel off doom metal anthems with ease. There are some cracking moments on this album, and it’s a joy to get to know it better with each listen.

Highly recommended.

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