When it comes to doom music, you’d arguably be forgiven if you were to expect slow and sluggish instrumentation with deep and gloomy harsh vocals, so when you come across something a little different, it makes for a refreshing listen – and that’s exactly what Alunah have accomplished with Awakening The Forest simply by utilising clean female vocals rather than the standard style of harsh male vocals.
The vocals are certainly a high point of the album. There’s this great innate gloominess to them and they lend themselves fantastically to the music; there’s no ‘gimmick’ to them and the way Sophie moves as one with the music is incredible. Highlights include Heavy Bough, which features a rather soulful and moving vocal performance atop of substantial guitar line, and Scourge And The Kiss, which has an absolutely fantastic rumbly bass line that gives the song a lot of meat and power.
However something that does need to be mentioned is that Awakening The Forest is nothing new instrumentally, which lets it down a tad. It does feel like it’s all been done before, which is disappointing because it does feel like Alunah are capable of better.
As a whole, Awakening The Forest is a strong and engaging album, and one definitely worthy of checking out, but it does need a little bit of fine-tuning here and there.