"Alunah, White Hoarhound (Psychedoomelic): The second album by the UK band is a stunner. Not only is it first-rate English doom in the grand tradition of Cathedral, but singer/guitarist Soph Day lends the music some real personality with her soaring, often seductive lead vocals. Much like Witch Mountain does, songs like the title track and “Demeter’s Grief” combine soulful ‘60s psychedelia with the slow, thudding bluesy grooves listeners expect, and in the case of "The Offering", is capable of mighty wicked grooves. In addition, the lyrics paint fascinating little portraits that often delve into English folklore, as on the enigmatic “Chester Midsummer Watch Parade”. In a subgenre where adhering to a set formula is of paramount importance, it’s great to hear a newer band like Alunahdo so and yet create music with as much charisma as what’s on display on this record."
Fast 'n' Bulbous
"Doom metal is an interesting beast, a sub-genre of metal that has seemingly infiltrated most bands dealing in heavy stoner rock and psych all the way to funereal doom and even some black metal. Many associate it with the 70s, even though the genre didn’t really exist then. Obviously Black Sabbath are the originators, but not everything they did was that doomy, just like very few Led Zeppelin songs were actually metal. Traditional doom really refers to the 80s, with Witchfinder General, Saint Vitus, Pentagram and Trouble providing the template that would be followed ever since, from Cathedral, Count Raven and Solitude Aeturnus to the dozens of bands that have proliferated in the last decade. And with only a few exceptions, they have crappy vocals. Perhaps in deference to Ozzy, doom bands just didn’t feel it was right to have a proper singer. That’s changed recently when Alunah entered the scene, straight from doom’s birthplace of Birmingham, England, with the 2008 EP Fall To Earth. Vocalist Sophie Day’s accomplished vocals brought some color and life into doom, which was shocking in a way, as if someone pulled the curtains open and let the sun stream into a funeral service. Not to everyone’s taste then, but adding a welcome dimension for many fans.
It seemed Alunah’s arrival opened some floodgates, either by coincidence, zeitgeist or inspiration, and soon after they released their promising debut album, Call Of Avernus (2010), along came Witchburn, Castle and Witch Mountain (who had been around for years but only recently added Uta) all with strong women vocalists, and many other doom-inspired bands also inspired by 60s occult, psych and prog like The Devil’s Blood, Blood Ceremony and Jess and the Ancient Ones, all covered earlier this year in Metal Sirens.
White Hoarhound is a significant step forward in Alunah’s progression. Not that they really change up their sound significantly. Due to their experience in the studio and on the road, Day’s voice sounds more confident and forceful over heavier and more textured riffs. If anything, the band has more enthusiastically embraced the traditional doom sound than ever before, and come up with something that will likely be referenced as a highlight of the sub-genre. That’s not to say they’re one-dimensional. The 10:44 closer “Oak Ritual II” delves into some nice Hendrixian psychedelia, a facet that’s often been a key element in the more interesting doom tunes. “The Offering” offers a bit of classic rock riffing. But the rest of the album is all heavy, plodding ‘n’ nodding doom, like “Belial’s Fjord” that teases with a potential crescendo, but offers no release. “Demeter’s Grief” taps into that special groovy swing Black Sabbath often had, while the title track is more uptempo.
In a year with exceptional doom releases from Americans Witch Mountain and Castle, Alunah represents UK Doom brilliantly. Head should scoop them all up. "
"... and Finally!, is the ALBUM OF THE WEEK, it is 'White Hoarhound' by UK Stoner/Doom Metal band Alunah, they have a pretty heavy sound and a female singer, which makes things a bit different."