Alunah – Violet Hour


Brits Alunah are a seasoned band with a 12 year career having released five full-length albums, but still they make us wonder if they will be able to stand out (in a genre that seems to have swamped long ago, making the task even harder).

Starting from the negatives, it seems that once again, the band chooses to play it safe following the trail of Black Sabbath and their big riffs. They do it right, but that’s not enough. After all, two key members of the Alunah have changed, replacing guitarist David Day with Dean Ashton and they lost their lead singer Sophie Day whose place is taken by Siân Greenaway, who is unexpectedly good and thankfully they hold cleverly high on the mix as some of her vocals are more interesting than the main riff of most tracks.

The organic production helps the album’s 42 minutes of listening, with the instruments standing out, while composing wise they follow a straightforward approach (to the limits of vintage hard rock rather than the doom rock of previous albums), keeping the songs short (just 3 tracks clock more than 6 minutes) and using a somewhat faster tempo than before. There are tracks where everything works (eg “Hunt” with its calm bridge vs dynamic chorus) but there are also tracks that will be quickly forgotten (see “Hyptotised”). However, one song that I easily pick out was the one that closes the album, “Lake of Fire”, with the traveling start and its slow build up through the simple drumming accompanied by the organ which brings out the necessary psychedelic texture.