I have been put in the fortunate position of being able to review something from a band I absolutely adore. I first came across Alunah about 5 years ago after hearing White Hoarhound which still gets some heavy rotation & I bought the last album Solennial as a limited edition LP without hearing a single track… Fanboy aside there have some big changes in Alunah with founding vocalist/guitarist Sophie Day leaving and the band announcing new vocalist Sian Greenway in November of last year. The band have been busy on the road and now comes the first release with the new lineup in the form of the four-track EP entitled Amber & Gold
Alunah have always had Visually stunning artwork and this is no exception with the duties falling to Tom Roberts on this occasion which really sets the mood for the opening instrumental track ‘Mangata‘
The title track ‘Amber & Gold‘ immediately shows off the deeper tones of Greenway’s range which blend so well the familiar groove that the band already have, the chorus is catchy as hell, the solos are really tight, you feel the bass in your chest and you really can’t help but slowly nod your head also, this is coming out at the perfect time of the year – it’s getting darker earlier in evenings so you have to light all the candles for which this is the perfect accompaniment .
‘Awn‘ begins slow & methodically opening with the line ‘I feel the crushing of my soul, as your soul breaks through my bones’. it’s one of those lines I found myself just singing to yourself at the strangest of times even when I’ve been listening to other things for me is the sign of a good song because it’s firmly embedded in the subconscious.
I resisted jumping straight to ‘Wicked Game‘ as I suspected it to be a cover, the band covered The Cure’s ‘A Forest‘. Even though I’m not a huge fan of the song of itself I wanted to hear Alunah’s interpretation of it as it’s a bit of a curveball…
If at this point you haven’t felt Greenway’s power this track hands down has it all – hypnotic, subtle at just the right times but still with the punch which over the times I’ve listened to the release has become stronger & stronger.
This is definitely a good mix and a very promising step forward from the band who haven’t lost their heaviness or grace.
Amber & Gold is released on November 16th