Alunah - Violet Hour Album Review/Stream [Heavy Psych Sounds 2019]
About The Band
Birmingham, UK’s Quartet Alunah have come a long way since their demo “Crystal Voyage “back in 2008. After 7 more releases, it seems the band decided to take a different approach after signing onto the growing Heavy Psych Sounds label. With a bit more of an edge to their songwriting after a lineup change adding Diamonhead’s Dean Ashton, they set out to display this new direction for the band with a fresh new album.
So how does the new album “Violet Hour” fare?
The album starts out with the single “Trapped & Bound”. You already hear the change in formula. The sound is perfectly in tune with the modern “Vintage Rock” rage that’s happening, so the sound is instantly more marketable. Very formulated and professional, it’s a formula that works and as much as I like Alunah and respect their body of work, the addition of Dean Ashton (who just kills it on this album) put a bit more fire and edge to the songwriting which has done Alunaha lot of good in this huge step in evolving as a band.
Lyrically, the tracks stay true to Alunah’s occultic nature, but there also seems to be a bit more personal influence and energy. Even in Singer/Photographer Siân’s vocals, it gives this controlled yet emotive energy that seems to place a bow on a very well produced and beautifully sounding album. Tracks like “Hypnotized” tell an all too common, yet relatable story from vocals to lyrics and is common in other songs like “Lake Of Fire”, “Dance Of Deceit”, and “Hunt “, just to name a few.
You can hear Daniel’s bold bass playing clearly and the drumming and percussions from Jake make the songs very catchy and listenable keeping the perfect pace in each track.
The riffs and solos are more old-school classic metal, but there is hints of the current sludge fuzz that more of us are knowing and loving. This is a true vintage-sounding album that reminds me of early Warlock/Doro or when David Vincent joined Genitortures and released “Black Heart Revolution”. Rock music that is done right by taking it back to basics. That bluesy breakdown solo in “Velvet” was on its mark. Going out with a clever, dark, and bohemian sounding track like “Lake Of Fire” was a wise choice to leave me wanting more.
I’m not even going to bullshit you. I seriously dig this album. Overzealous as it may sound, after finally hearing “Violet Hour”, I have to say I was thoroughly impressed. I was intrigued about this album after hearing “Trapped & Bound” and I can honestly say I’m glad the wait paid off in aces.
As stated, Dean’s guitar work alongside Sian’s vocals are the real stars, the true driving force and a serious gamechanger for Alunah as a whole. Whatever may be that lit a fire under their ass, you definitely get that energy off Violet Hour. It’s their time to stop reaching out and create something that makes you want to grab it. Mission accomplished with this guy.
Do I see this album being a massive gamechanger for Alunah in attracting more fans? Well, nothing is overnight, but if the band can keep it together and continue putting out work like Violet Hour, I think they will have a certain level of success they didn’t have before. This album is a good start and a momentum builder down this new path they have chosen. I hope this trend in sound and style continues for them moving forward.