Alunah – Solennial (Svart Records)

Alunah – Solennial (Svart Records)

A quiet Storm.

Easy listening doom! It’s nice to be in at the birth of a new musical sub genre – I remember the halcyon days when handbag pasadoble broke big – and it’s an even bigger thrill to coin the new term oneself… so hats off to me!

Of course, I’m being flippant, but there is a real relaxed, somnolent aura hanging around Solennial that means you’ll be able to listen to this record in the late, darklit hours just before the dawn without waking up the neighbours yet still absorbing the spiritual, sensual vibes offered by the record just as was intended by its makers. Everyone wins. Soph Day’s vocals rarely raise themselves to anything more than a beguiling croon – they don’t need to – the chanteuse holding the audience spellbound as she utters eternal pagan verities accompanied by husband Dave’s always tasteful soloing and the sort of restrained riffage all of us need to immerse ourselves in now and then.

Solennial is a short album – only just over half an hour has elapsed before the band launch into a it-has-to-be-heard-to-be-believed cover of The Cure’s goth anthem to end them all A Forest – but the time is used wisely and there is quite simply not one note wasted throughout as the band weave their sonic tapestries into your subconscious almost without you noticing.

Elemental, enthralling, engrossing, Solennial is an album you experience as much as hear, thanks in part to the superb production which allows everyone and every instrument to breathe; Four albums in, Alunah again indicate that there’s a very special something in their music that not all will get at first contact, but all will come to love if they conduct the sort of immersion all religious practices demand at some point. This is strangely powerful, affecting stuff indeed.

Scott Adams
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