Both 2017’s Solennial and 2019’s Violet Hour were solid examples of Alunah’s art, and Strange Machine carries 42 minutes of new tunes to enjoy. At this point in their career Alunah know how to play this sort of music; a Sabbathian mix of doom, hard rock, and stoner that’s based around good songs and a strong singer. What can go wrong with a formula like this?
As you may have guessed, not much. The band put their best foot forward and have penned a satisfying and enjoyable set of tracks.
In places Strange Machine is less dark than some of the band’s previous work, (as the cover may have indicated), and these new songs sound revitalised and energetic. Despite this, doomy vibes still pervade much of the music, as the darkness hasn’t been totally removed, not at all.
Alunah seem to have lost none of their passion for their material, and Strange Machine is packed with the sort of performances and delivery that many a similar band would envy. The band’s talented singer is in fine form and her voice is powerful and dripping with presence. The songs make good use of the vocals, yet never hide behind them; well-written and focused on catchy hooks and memorable choruses, these songs are easily enjoyable all-round. There are also plenty of tasty leads, solos, and meaty riffs to get your teeth into.
Occasionally the songs wander into more psychedelic/progressive rock waters, leaving behind the doom/stoner ones somewhat, (Fade into Fantasy and Psychedelic Expressway, for example), and these diversions pay big dividends.
Strange Machine is a very strong new album from Alunah, and is highly recommended for any fan of the style.