Strange Machine by Alunah

Release date: April 15, 2022
Label: Heavy Psych Sounds

Okay where do I start? Where do I begin? How would I describe the sounds of Alunah’s music? That’s a tricky question for me to ask. But all I can say that Alunah themselves have taken me on this amazing ride from their new album, Strange Machine. Formed in the West Midlands region in the UK in 2006 and originally known as Aluna from 2006 to 2008, Alunah carry the spirit of doom, classic rock, and psychedelia.

With five studio albums in the can and four EPs including sharing one with Queen Elephantine’s ‘Mephistopheles’, it’s time to see what Alunah has in store for 2022. Despite line-up changes, drummer Jake Mason remains the only personnel in the band.

Like King Crimson’s Robert Fripp and Eloy’s Frank Bornemann in which both of their bands had various line-up changes, Mason keeps the Alunah flag waving like there’s no tomorrow. Alongside Jake’s drumming; bassist Dan Burchmore, vocalist Siân Greenaway, and guitarist Matt Noble, Strange Machine is a top food chain release that Heavy Psych Sounds has unleashed.

From the opening synthesised introduction of the opening title-track, it becomes a stick of dynamite ready to erupt at any second before the heavier riffs from Noble, setting the tones for Siân to get the controls ready channeling both the Space Ritual-era of Hawkwind and BigElf’s Damon Fox. Then, the heavy bass groove sets the drums and guitars up for more leeway in the midsection tunnel that is filled with nightmarish imagery.

 

While they reach those flaming riffs to jump aboard Alunah’s incredible time machine, Sian goes in for the attack by adding more intensive heat for the rhythm section by going ‘Over the Hills’. Adding up more intensive heat by making it hotter than hell, Matt channels some heavier licks between Jimmy Page, Tony Iommi, and Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen by bringing down enough thunder.

For Jake and Dan, they follow Matt in hot pursuit before Sian turns into a burnt-out rock star in the mini-operatic ‘Fade into Fantasy’. The song deals with the tragic details on the success and fame. It can come at you with a heavier price by going down that deep, dark alleyway filled with regret and the afterlife.

But just as it goes into a climatic ride into this psychedelic arrangement, both ‘The Earth Spins’ and ‘Silver’ sees Alunah getting down to business. From its comet heading towards our home planet with Matt double-tracking between riff and lead sections, and post-apocalyptic grooves from Buchmore, the seventh track becomes this bloody battlefield tackling Mastodon’s ‘Oblivion’ from their 2009 masterpiece, Crack the Skye.

‘Dead Woman Walking’ which closes the album, goes into this Indian tribe as Sian lays down the gamut while she and the band take the ride home with each of the band members; Dan, Matt, and Jake taking turns on the steering wheel, making sure that the car has enough gasoline for the ride home. Strange Machine may take a while to get on board for Alunah’s answer to the Starship Enterprise.

But this group really know their influences very well. And this here is quite a ride that’ll make you want to discover their music to see what you’re missing.

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