The darkest and heaviest band of the night were of course local headliners Alunah who had plenty of friends and family in the house for this showcase album launch show.
Awakening the Forest is their third album, and first on Napalm Records, and they’ve certainly justified their recent deal with this endearingly haunting piece of work. Two tracks from the new album started the set, the manically deep ‘Heavy Bough’ and ‘Bricket Wood Coven’.
The intro to ‘Heavy Bough’ is something approaching doom utopia with its frighteningly downtuned start sending tremors vibrating across Scruffys floor. Singer Soph Day has one of the finest female voices around – and not just in doom crop circles either. Piercingly haunting at times but always under pitch perfect control, Soph has the pleasure of performing with three equally adept musicians, newest member Dan Burchmore now firmly entrenched on bass after a year or so with the band. Dave Day coaxes all the right noises from his guitar to set the landscape for Alunah’s songs to breathe in while Jake Mason’s methodical drumming helps carve these songs into your blackened soul.
The Midlands army of Alunah fans, which I suspect is growing faster than the Selfridges queue for the Boxing Day sale, had already had a taste of ‘Bricket Wood Coven’ which the band performed live earlier in the year. It’s another monstrously heavy slab of doom with a meaty riff so tasty even a vegetarian could be forgiven for taking a bite. Soph again stretches out the dark cloak until the whole floor is under its wing, practically suffocating under the smoky signature of evil.
There was a genuine moment of surprise for Alunah regulars when the band threw in an 80s cover from The Cure. ‘A Forest’ was always one of the goth legends’ finest tunes and it was certainly done justice by Alunah who put their own spin on it. Robert Smith would surely have approved!
Alunah also threw in their old favourites ‘Belial’s Fjord’ and ‘White Hoarhound’ which never fail to melt the hardest of hearts before bringing the curtain down on a great set – and terrific night at Scruffys – with the new album’s title track ‘Awakening the Forest’, another mesmerizing masterpiece from one of the UK’s most enchanting doom bands.
Full Review: http://www.themidlandsrocks.com/alunah-lonely-kamel-nat-bite-the-order-of-israfel-scruffy-murphys-birmingham-wednesday-1st-october-2014/
Listen to Soph's interview: http://www.themidlandsrocks.com/interview-with-soph-of-alunah/