With a style such as that of Alunah, the deeper the roots run in the soils of traditional doom metal, the more firmly grounded their song writing becomes, here finding the band at their most resolutely repetitive. Stubbornly so, perhaps, to the point where those who would arm themselves with hatchets bearing the critical inscription of "generic" have a futile task ahead of them if they decide upon hacking away relentlessly with little forethought at the stylistic basis of Awakening The Forest. Sure, this all sounds generically designed, but I suspect that's largely the point; to sound explicitly traditional or "classic," as much as strive to personalise the effort. Many try and fail to create a point of individuality or a sound that differs in a context such as this, not so for Alunah.
This is managed most clearly in the vocal performance; the substantive instrumentation which builds the bulk of the record would be stylistically unremarkable without it, even if it is performed with obvious competency and an impressionable simplicity to the riffs. For the purposes of Awakening The Forest, the sound is noticeably situated in the rarely relenting exercises of the low-end, which, when coupled with the continually gradual song progressions, generates the band's most doom metal oriented effort and their stoner side seems restrained as a consequence. Infrequently does Alunah come up for a bit of air or a break to the monotony with a stoner metal lead, as was demonstrated in the more varied approach to the mixed and more variable song writing of the previous record, White Hoarhound. Although the closer "The Summerland" goes a long way (literally, it clocking at nine minutes) to restoring this absence in an expansively hazy vibe.
The album often proceeds in a manner begging for enhancement of this stoner side in light of what preceded it; a more actively psychedelic approach is missing here, and given what was well utilised on White Hoarhound in terms of acoustic and atmospheric effects seems forgotten, opting instead for a clearer direction of the rhythm section and vocal accompaniment. Where some psychedelia is established these elements are minimal and receive little of an audible emphasis, such as the barely noticeable distortions that work their way underneath the mix as "Bricket Wood Coven" draws near its completion. As the record proceeds, doom prevails above all else, to which the vocal arrangements respond and accommodate well.
The simultaneity of the highlight in "Heavy Bough" is a good example of the band's more up-tempo focus, as it sets a continually and palpably heavy rhythm that well suits its name, and demonstrates the band in complete cohesion, vocally and instrumentally.
All things considered, this record demonstrates that Alunah are more than capable of providing a varied recording of their style from album to album. There's no doubting that they deliver as a distinctive unit, and offer their own renditions of varied stoner accentuated doom.