ALUNAH - White Hoarhound

Alunah - White Hoarhound

7 songs
47:37 minutes
***** ***


Alunah from Birmingham in England is a quartet which sounds incredibly retro. The three male musicians and their female vocalist have been together since 2007 and have been very active in all that time. In their five years of existence, they have already released two longplayers, two EPs and a split-CD.

It isn’t hard to guess that Alunah are a British band, as the early Black Sabbath have definitely left quite an impact. Their label’s name psycheDOOMelic also gives a good idea of what to expect. The opener Demeter’s Grief is still a rather traditional retro doom piece, but some of the following songs like Chester Midsummer Watch Parade and the title track have some darkly occult moments. The music has at times a very evocative atmosphere, and there is never a lack of suspense and goosebumps are guaranteed. The Offering even allows for some hippie flair, without sounding happy-go-lucky though. It only sounds a little less dark and weird than their other material. The album finds its conclusion with the last two tracks Oak Ritual Parts I & II. The former is only an acoustic intro, but the latter is just sounding just as hypnotic and mystic the way we have gotten used to by this band. The only disappointment is that despite a stated length of ten minutes, the song ends already after five.

Sophie Willett’s voice is definitely the band’s trademark, and I even go as far to compare her to Inger Lorre. Even if the former Nymphs vocalist had nothing to do with metal, both of them manage to sound rather unique: somehow bored but fascinating at the same time. Correspondingly, the low tuned guitars fittingly transport the listener over forty years into the past.

Terrorizer magazine has labelled Alunah as the “Future of Doom”, which is probably a typical British exaggeration. The band definitely shows a whole range of good ideas, and they also don’t lack talent. But let’s not forget that currently a lot of retro doom bands are doing their thing, and Alunah may still lack the certain something to set them apart. Also their songs are often following the same recipe, but there is already quite a lot of detail work one should look out for. Alunah are on the right path but have not yet reached their final destination.

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