Alunah – “White Hoarhound” Re-issue (PRC Music)
If you’re fan of classic English doom metal, then you’ll know that Alunah are casting their gloomy shadow all over Europe right now. Originally released on a long since defunct label, “White Hoarhound” is the band’s second release and has now been re-issued with some exquisite new cover art, although smartly the original sludgy mix has not been interfered with, so you can hear it in all its original glory. When you consider that the album title is named after a wild flower with ancient herbal properties and found in abundance in the Great Orme, a prominent limestone headland on the north coast of Wales where lyricist / vocalist / guitarist Soph Day used to spend her childhood with her late father, that should give you an idea of just how deep this band is when composing their material. Hailing from Black Sabbath’s hometown of Birmingham, Alunah mix it up big time between 60s English psychedelia, 70s English doom with just the right hint of English stoner to keep their strong, pagan songs rolling to just the right groove. Led by Day’s ethereal hypnotic vocals, her guitar – along with hubby Dave’s – produces a classic thick fuzz tone graced by heavy doom riffs that could’ve been penned by the dark lord Iommi himself! With Gaz Imber’s booming bass and Jake Mason’s thud drumming adding to the smog effect on songs like ‘Belial’s Fjord’ and ‘Chester Midsummer Watch Parade’, these Brummies show they have what it takes to follow in the footsteps of Sabbath. For anyone still skeptical then no further proof is needed than on the spell bounding two part epic – ‘Oak Ritual Part 1 and Part 2’ – a 14 minute trip that begins acoustically and builds into a doom ritual with the guitars superbly soloing out in wild culmination. Simply stunning.