Check out the Alunah Gig page for more gigs in your area, we have something very special coming to Birmingham in the next couple of months so watch this space!
Unfortunately, the Benson / Griffin tour that was scheduled to take place next month has been cancelled due to unavoidable circumstances. This obviously means that the Birmingham Asylum gig on 27th October with Alunah, Iron Void, Arkham Witch and Gods of Hellfire has been cancelled.
Check out the Alunah Gig page for more gigs in your area, we have something very special coming to Birmingham in the next couple of months so watch this space!
2012! It's safe to say that in our 6 year history, this year has been our best! We released our second album, worked with some amazing people, played some great gigs, met new awesome people, caught the eye of Napalm Records and made a few end of year lists (read whose here). From a music point of view it's been our best, but we also suffered the loss of Soph's Dad John who was a big supporter of Alunah, we dedicated our upcoming vinyl to him and he will always be in our thoughts.
The year wouldn't have been what it was without the input from the following great key people, in no particular order:
Mark Hegadus at Psychedoomelic Records: He believed in us enough to release White Hoarhound on his legendary Austrian label. One of THE best things we've done.
Sebastian Muench and the whole team at Napalm Records / Spinning Goblin Productions: They will be releasing White Hoarhound on 12" vinyl on January 25th 2013, so proud to be on yet another legendary Austrian label.
Olivia Burr: Liv tirelessly sells our merch for us, provides transport when needed and handles all management queries for us!
Mona Miluski at Platinum PR: We came on board with German company Platinum PR to help promote White Hoarhound, and they have gone above and beyond to get us some amazing international press.
Greg Chandler at Priory Recording Studios: Greg recorded both of our albums, and did a sterling job on both. He totally gets us, and is an easy creative guy to work with.
Tony Reed at Heavy Head Co: Tony mixed, mastered and featured on White Hoarhound. He also re-mastered the album for vinyl, a top bloke with unlimited amounts of talent.
Mez at Heretic Promotions / Scruffy Murphys, Birmingham: Mez is our number 1 promoter of choice to work with, complete professional and all round good guy. His promotions company hosted our album launch gig this year. Mez now also comes out with us doing our sound engineering.
Alison Richards and Martin Newman at Oath Communications: An awesome duo who are working on a video for White Hoarhound as well as attending the majority of our gigs in 2012 filming and taking photos.
We must also mention the following bands, promoters, radio shows, webzines and podcasts who we've played with / for. Again, in no particular order and sorry to those we've missed:
A Pale Horse Named Death, Gentlemans Pistols, Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight, Gurt, Stubb, Arkham Witch, General, Desert Storm, Conan, Gods of Hellfire, Steak, Stone Axe, Arke, Ironrat, Gringo, Shebrew, Caravan of Whores, A Million Miles, Tairrie B and My Ruin, Baron Greenback, Desert Scene, Desert Fest, Heretic Promotions, Black Bullet Live, When Planets Collide, Kerrang Radio, Johnny Doom, Metal.de, Ripple Music, Metal Hammer Germany, Grip of Delusion Radio, Terrorizer Magazine, Soggy Bog, Core of Destruction Radio, 339 Metal, Doomantia, The Soda Shop, Fast 'n' Bulbous, 411 Mania, The Temple of Perdition, The Metal Observer, Via Nocturna, Unhallowed Nation, Planet Mosh, Skrikzine, Nocturnal Hall Magazine, Sludgelord, Sleeping Shaman, X Transmission FM, WCNI Radio, Femme Metal Webzine, The Obelisk, Black Sunday Magazine, MSN Entertainment, Metal Riot...
There are so many more, but not enough hours in the day to list them alll! Thanks to everyone basically, and special thanks to those who came to our gigs, brought our merch, brought us beer and shared our drunken ramblings!
In 2013 we will release our vinyl, carry on writing for our third album, play with The Sword, Lonely Kamel and Black Moth, tour Europe including Heavy Days in Doom Town Festival in Denmark, and hopefully meet a load more awesome people! Here's to a happy new year, these were our most viewed blog posts and images of 2012...
Top 5 Most Viewed Blog Posts
1. She Came, She Saw, She Rocked Out with her Cock Out
2. Alunah Sign with Napalm Records / Spinning Goblin Productions
3. Download Alunah's White Hoarhound for Free
4. Alunah to Support The Sword
5. Terrorizer Magazine Hail Alunah as Future of Doom
Top 10 Most Viewed Images of 2012
The limited edition 12” vinyl gatefold will be available in two colours – white and transparent green. The tracks have been remastered for vinyl by Tony Reed and will sound warmer and heavier than ever! The gatefold also features new artwork.
Sophie Day, singer and guitarist commented about the band’s new deal “Alunah are extremely happy to be joining the Napalm Records / Spinning Goblin Productions family with the upcoming vinyl release of our current album. We’re sitting amongst some amazing bands and the label really understand what we’re about, 2013 looks set to be a great year for us”. Sophie also said this about Alunah's PR company "Platinum PR have done a great job in getting us coverage in the European press, we really hope that we can expand on that coverage with this release and subsequently, our tour".
Alunah will be touring Europe in 2013 to support the vinyl release, as for remaining 2012 dates, they will be playing with Gentlemans Pistols on Friday November 16th in their home city of Birmingham, England and with Gods of Hellfire and Arkham Witch in Bradford on Saturday 10th November. They will also be working with Oath Communications to film and produce a new video to accompany the track “White Hoarhound”.
Visit Napalm Records: http://www.napalmrecords.com/
Visit Spinning Goblin Productions: https://www.facebook.com/spinninggoblin
Visit Platinum PR: http://platinum-pr.blogspot.co.uk/
Visit Alunah: http://www.alunah.co.uk
It comes and goes from the ether of the mental jukebox, but the chorus of the title-track to Alunah‘s White Hoarhound is never far off. Its resonant melody, rich tones and ethereal subject matter stand the band’s PsycheDOOMelic label debut — second album overall behind 2010′s Call of Avernus — in line with rich traditions within British rock, from late ’60s psychedelic pop to thunderous modern doom and massively fuzzed riffing. White Hoarhound (review here) and Call of Avernus (review here) are both strikingly cohesive outings from a still relatively nascent four-piece, but the newer record sets itself apart in an atmosphere and thematic geared toward pre-Christian nature-worship and particularly the rich pagan history of the British Isles.
Songs like “The Offering,” “Belial’s Fjord,” and “Chester Midsummer Watch Parade” hone in on these ideas — as, I suppose, do the title-cut, opener “Demeter’s Grief” and the closing duo of “Oak Ritual I” and “Oak Ritual II” — but more to the point in terms of listening to the album, they do so with a clear-headed musicality, subtle psychedelic essence and gorgeous songwriting. Guitarist/vocalist Sophie Day (more often shortened just toSoph), fellow guitarist Dave Day, bassist Gaz Imber and drummer Jake Mason execute a tonal thickness that’s second to few whose entire schtick isn’t tonal thickness, but do so without sacrificing choruses that are memorable for more than just being heavy. As much as the riff of “Demeter’s Grief” launches the album in lumbering form, and as much asImber‘s bass earns high marks across the board, it’s the songs themselves that stand out. Even the acoustic-led “Oak Ritual I” — on which Tony Reed, who mixed and mastered the Greg Chandlerproduction, donates guest organ — leaves a lasting impression.
As Soph says herself on “Oak Ritual II,” “The connection to the earth feels electric this time.” Alunah have set themselves a path with WhiteHoarhound, and should they choose to walk it and develop their sound from what they present on these seven tracks, there’s little to limit whatever their contribution might become. It’s a special moment for the band, and given that, I wanted to hit the band up to get some idea of what went into making the songs and the album, their origins and plans going forward.
Soph was kind enough to accommodate. For those in the UK, Alunah are playing Nov. 10 at The Gas Works in Bradford and Nov. 16 in Birmingham at Asylum Birmingham with Gentlemens Pistols. More info on that at the links below. Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:
1. Tell me about writingWhite Hoarhound. How and when did the songs start to come together? What was the first song you wrote for the album and how did it come about?
We gigged and toured Call of Avernus for quite a while, and all of our practices were taken up with us playing the songs off Avernus so we were itching to start coming up with new ideas. We probably started seriously thinking about the second album around the beginning of 2011. The first song we wrote was “Chester Midsummer Watch Parade,” we had a strong idea of how we wanted the album to sound and “CMWP” embodied that perfectly. Davewrote the riff for it and it was just perfectly dark and moody whilst at the same time being uplifting and groovy. We’re not a dark, depressing band by any means but we do have that side to us, and “CMWP” captures that side to us whilst at the same time celebrating the Midsummer in typicalAlunah style. As soon as we wrote it we started playing it live — the rest of the songs didn’t get a live airing until the middle of 2012.
2. In terms of putting the record together and structuring the songs one into the next, was “Oak Ritual II” always going to be the album closer? Did that song come first or the acoustic part before it?
Once we finished the songs it was a tossup between “Belial’s Fjord” or “Oak Ritual II” for the album closer and I think we made a good choice. “Oak Ritual” originally sounded quite different, and we only titled it in the studio. We moved the structure of the song around quite a lot, Dave and I had a jam at home and came up with the idea for “Oak Ritual I.” We went to rehearsal and played it to Gaz and Jake, from there we based the final “Oak Ritual II” on it so they kind of fed off each other in terms of which came first. The final “Oak Ritual I” wasn’t developed until we recorded it — the most of what you hear on the recording is Davejamming on the acoustic. Same with all the backing vocals, they were las- minute studio additions, I’m so glad we did them too.
3. What is your lyric-writing process like? The lyrics on White Hoarhound seem to be coming from a quiet kind of place — they’re not really angry, sometimes sad, but still really thoughtful. Are there any rituals you have for writing the lyrics to get in the right mindset?
That’s a really nice summary of what I also feel about the lyrics. I don’t get into a ritual at all, with Avernus I remember sitting down and thinking “right, I’m going to write some lyrics,” but with Hoarhound I didn’t. The only song I really remember sitting down and writing was “Demeter’s Grief.” I’d been reading about the harvest, and the mythology attached to them, it fascinated me so I wrote that song. The rest of the songs kind of found me. I know that sounds pretentious but they did. I can’t remember ever sitting down and preparing myself to write them. I’m lucky to live amongst beautiful countryside, and I’m never short of inspiration. “White Hoarhound” was written from random thoughts which came into my head on a Welsh headland at a time when I found out my dad had lung cancer. “White Hoarhound” (normally spelt “horehound”) is actually a root the monks used to treat lung conditions with, and the headland I was standing on was where it was grown. I won’t go into massive detail on the others as I like listeners to attach their own meanings to them. I will say that this year has been a difficult one for my family, and the songs were born from a very sad and thoughtful period — they were my means of escaping into a different world. On a lighter note, I did watch a programme about flamingos and wrote a song about them… unfortunately for everyone, the rest of the band rejected it — that could have been a cracking song hahahaha!
4. Did you actually get to see the Chester Midsummer Watch? I caught some of it on YouTube and it seemed pretty psychedelic in that medieval kind of way — perfect for Alunah. That song seems to be in a tradition of British rock songwriting. Reminds me of a late ‘60s or early ‘70s psych record. Was there something in particular about the parade that inspired it?
I’m actually planning on going to see it next year — they also have a Winter Watch Parade which is smaller but has some of the characters from the Midsummer Watch Parade. The parade didn’t actually inspire the song, I’m not sure what did if I’m honest — we were just jamming and the riff came out of that. The lyrics, like the parade are celebrating the midsummer and I’m definitely interested in England’s medieval and also pagan culture. The song had a different name originally but when I read about the parade I changed the name in tribute. The parade was actually started in the 1100s and was banned for a period as it had dancing naked young boys as part of the parade — inappropriate even back then! It only recently came back to Chester and I think it’s just a beautiful, lively celebration of the Midsummer, complete with giants, jesters, dragons, devils and beasts. Thousands of people visit Chester to watch it, I’m not sure they all understand what it’s about but they all join in with the celebrations and it looks amazing, I can’t wait to visit next year.
5. How long were you in the studio recording? Did you do the album all in one shot or space it out? The tones are very warm and natural in the guitar and bass. Was there something specific about recording forWhite Hoarhound that you wanted to do differently from Call of Avernus?
We were in the studio recording for just five days, spaced out over weekends. We really wanted to capture the live tones on this record, we were close with Avernus but I think Greg (Chandler – who recorded it) nailed it with Hoarhound. We recorded AND mixed Avernus in four days. This time we spent more time recording and could work with our amps more to get the right sound. The other thing we did differently was to have someone else mix the record, Greg recorded and mixed Avernus,James Plotkin mastered it. This time Greg recorded, and Tony Reedmixed and mastered. Like us, Tonythrives on that ‘70s sound, so it was cool to have that meeting of different styles. He brought out the tones superbly, and we were especially pleased with the bass sound — so heavy!
6. You’re playing in November with Gentlemans Pistols and Desert Storm. Any other shows coming up, plans for the New Year you want to mention or closing words?
Yeah that’ll be an awesome gig on the 16th, we’re also in Bradford in November on the 10th with our mates Gods of Hellfire, Arkham Witchand Arke. We’ve got some big plans for 2013 which are being talked about at the moment — at least one big tour, possibly another and some other cool news which we’re discussing. Hahaha sorry to be so annoyingly vague but until they’re firm plans we don’t want to jinx things. Keep checking www.alunah.co.uk or www.facebook.com/alunah.doom for updates and thanks so much for everyone’s support in 2012.
After what was a full on, full blown and ridiculously loud weekend I find myself asking "can I have my eardrums and Thursday night's dinner back please?"
Friday at Scruffy Murphys (which was also my birthday) was the first time I'd seen Lifer and they were awesome! Now, those of you who know me know that Acrimony are one of my favourite bands... of all time... ever!! Lifer feature Lee from Acrimony (and Black Eye Riot) so it was a great pleasure to finally meet him, as well as the rest of the Lifer boys.
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