New born trio CELLAR DARLING is a new found force in the folk rock/metal category already creating major ripples on the scene with their debut masterpiece, ‘This Is The Sound‘. After pulling the plug on their previous band ELUVEITIE almost a year ago, the Swiss trio of Ivo Henzi, Anna Murphy and Merlin Sutter quickly huddled together to form CELLAR DARLING, with a goal of driving themselves in a new direction as they wanted to try out something new and different from what they were already doing. Fast forward a year, and here we are with their debut release titled, ‘This Is The Sound‘, arguably one of the best albums already this year.
Slated for a June 30th, 2017 out via Nuclear Blast Records, let me tell oh boy what a beautiful and enchanting album this has been. I am already in love with the record and this awesome band!
Over a decade’s worth of experience under the trio’s belt, CELLAR DARLING has truly used it to perfection in ‘This Is The Sound‘ and has definitely set foot on uncharted territories gracefully, something quite different from their past musical sojourns. Without beating the bush, let us plunge ourselves into the review.
First track off the album, ‘Avalanche‘, Anna kicks things off by chanting the song title with her beautiful voice. As it builds up a crescendo, Ivo Henzi breaks it loose with his heavy shredding, while Anna continues to hit those incredible high notes flawlessly. We also get a taste of the hurdy gurdy in what is the first of many such folk harmonies on this album, which blends in so well. We have a pretty well balanced and in contrast song to start off.
CELLAR DARLING are story tellers. The next track, ‘Black Moon‘, is about the apocalyptic interpretations mankind tend to add to the lunar eclipse. Again a perfect rendition of melody and heaviness. Anna Murphy dishes out a profoundly mystical hurdy gurdy solo only magnifying the beauty of this album. Funnily enough the next track, has Anna chanting ‘This is the sound, this is the sound‘ , which might make you ponder if this is the album title track, but no, this track is known as ‘Challenge‘. Guaranteed to take you adrift on a feel good ride, this has to be the most melodic track on the album. Just a few songs into the album and one can already tell this album is going to definitely hit top charts.
While the folky sound is kept intact in every song, it’s also notable that each one of them is still diverse from one another, just as the next song, ‘Six Days‘, probably my favorite and a masterpiece without a doubt, on which I’d like to talk about for a bit. Encapsulating every bit of musical flavour, this track consists of intermittent heavy riffs and soon in the latter half, the band takes a more melodious route, a flute driven melodic sound. The soothing spiritual feel that emanates from the ambient nature of the track will definitely leave you spellbound. I can also sense some classical music in the nerve of Beethoveen and Wagner this song dwells on. Same goes for tracks like the shortest one ‘Water‘, ‘Rebels‘, ‘Under The Oak Tree‘, ‘Hedonia‘(whose lyrics are in German adding in more of indigenous folk touch) and ‘Redemption‘, where CELLAR DARLING takes you on a lovely spiritual ride, while also maintaining the essential heavy touch to it.
It would be injustice if I don’t point out the spectacular and the exemplary display of hurdy gurdy playing by none other than Anna Murphy, she has really stolen the spotlight on this album along with her beautiful and sweet voice. She perfectly adds in the folk vibe that is so important in this album. No wonder why I’m in love with her. Ivo Henzi‘s work has been incredibly good although simple in nature, he being the only heavy element on the entire record. Tracks like ‘Starcrusher‘, ‘Fire, Wind & Earth‘ really proves why he’s the right one in the business, where he acts as a good contrast to the mellow nature of the other songs.
‘This Is The Sound‘ has it all, you name it and it’s there. Melody? Check! Heavy riffing? Check! Folk or celtic tunes? Check! Now I know some people like their melody and harmonies with a tinge a of extra heaviness in the form of harsh vocals or growls, which I do too but to as the band said this is a different direction from their earlier bands, be prepared to not expect it. And I think it is more beautiful the way it already is. CELLAR DARLING has definitely made a huge mark with the release of this excellently mesmerising album. Personally, I’m already willing out to carve a spot in the Top Five Year End List of best albums of 2017, for this must have quintessential album. CELLAR DARLING has definitely opened new doors and the bar has definitely risen with the release of their debut album. ‘This Is The Sound‘ without a tinge of doubt is 2017’s one of the most beautiful works by any band. Do NOT miss this album! CELLAR DARLING are a swift force to watch out for in the future. Mark my words!
CELLAR DARLING are:
1. Anna Murphy(Vocals, hurdy gurdy, multi-instrumentalist)
2. Ivo Henzi(Guitars, Bass)
3. Merlin Sutter(Drums)
Pre-order ‘This Is The Sound‘ here.