A year after the band’s foundation, CELLAR DARLING present their sound in a debut album that will surely place them high on the metal map.
ELUVEITIE-spinoff CELLAR DARLING is a band in its own right, with its own signature sound.
If, like me, you were sad to hear about Anna Murphy leaving ELUVEITIE you are probably looking forward to listening to her new band CELLAR DARLING. And rightly so! Since she and two other members split from the Swiss Folk-Metal band and announced their new joint project, the multi-instrumentalist and lead-singer along with guitarist Ivo Henzi and drummer Merlin Sutter have been releasing endless fragments of music and behind the scene videos. The constant teasing kept the three musicians present in the metal scene and in the memory of the fans – now that’s some great marketing right there!
Back in September 2016 the trio self-released a first single called ‘Challenge’ – only months after starting work together on the new band, CELLAR DARLING, which took the name of Murphy‘s 2013 solo album that also included Sutter on drums. ‘Challenge’ is the third song on the album (and remains my favorite) following ‘Black Moon’ and the opener ‘Avalanche’, both of which have been previously released as singles, already revealing the band’s distinctive sound. CELLAR DARLING‘s influences point to progressive rock and obviously folk, with some expected but limited EVLUVEITIE-touches, since the musicians naturally can’t shake off their past. There are also some classical influences noticeable through the inclusion of instruments like piano, flute and strings, as well as the dynamic hurdy-gurdy-melodies.
CELLAR DARLING surpass expectations of sound and concept.
With heavy riffs, strong, precise drumming and Murphy‘s unmistakable voice and her unique hurdy-gurdy, CELLAR DARLING delivers an album full of variety – unlike several releases of late that quickly become boring, being a mere repetition of the already known singles. “This Is The Sound” starts with the three singles, so we can get over them swiftly and pay attention to the inherently catchy melodies and choruses in the rest of the record. Each and every one of the tracks on this album is worth a focused listen, but if you don’t have time, I can recommend my favorites:
- ‘The Hermit’ scores with heavy drums and rapid guitars, only accentuated by the hurdy-gurdy; reminds me of LIFE OF AGONY‘s “A Place Where There Is No More Pain”.
- ‘Rebels’ sounds dark and powerful, with a MUSE-touch.
- ‘Under The Oak Tree’ is heavy and melancholic, with beautiful hurdy-gurdy melodies, but not as many as to turn too folky.
- ‘Hedonia’ has a folky temper, emphasised by its Swiss German lyrics, which I really wish I could understand – but becomes heavier and more experimental throughout its over seven minutes.
Furthermore Murphy sounds a lot like Anneke van Giersbergen on tracks like ‘Redemption’ and ‘Starcrusher’. The Swiss singer explores her whole voice range and many styles throughout the album – and nails them all. The 14 songs on the release invite to sing along, which might just turn out quite difficult, for Murphy‘s voice is unique in sound as well as ability and her yodeling talent isn’t easy to replicate.
Thematically, “This Is The Sound” seems to revolve around different stories and folk tales. According to the press-release:
“… CELLAR DARLING stay true to their reputation for musical innovation, and to their stated mission: the reinvention of folk tales for the modern age, as the very essence of what they once were.
Lyrically, CELLAR DARLING are storytellers. They want to carry you away into their world of music, awaking the spirit of the stories our parents told us before going to sleep, the dramas of love, war and poverty in the hour-long acts of an opera – the adventures of the human spirit, with all its mysteries and emotions.”
“This Is The Sound” might just be my favorite album of 2017.
And reinvented they have! At least musically, with a signature sound that the band has established without doubt, despite the fact that the three musicians’ background naturally lets the listener compare CELLAR DARLING to ELUVEITIE and even to Murphy‘s solo-debut. It dawns on me so clearly that the name fits perfectly, because “This Is The Sound” of CELLAR DARLING!
Even the music videos for the three singles seem to have a common thread interweaving the stories and visuals, so that we notice that, although it’s not officially a concept album, CELLAR DARLING absoulutely thought this record through.
Watch CELLAR DARLING’s latest single ‘Avalanche’:
CELLAR DARLING – “This Is The Sound” Tracklist:
- Black Moon
- Six Days
- The Hermit
- Fire Wind & Earth
- Under The Oak Tree
- High Above These Crowns
Catch CELLAR DARLING on tour:
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