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Suldusk - Lunar Falls (2019) - Review

Band: Suldusk
Album title: Lunar Falls
Release date: 12 April 2019
Label: Northern Silence Productions
Genre: Dark Neo-folk, Post-Rock, Blackgaze

01. Eleos
02. Solus Ipse
03. The Elm
04. Aphasia
05. Three Rivers
06. Autumnal Resolve
07. Catacombs
08. Nazaré
09. Drogue
10. Sovran Shrines

Some music just comes at the right time and right place into our lives, and while I'm facing certain difficulties in life, Suldusk brought me some necessary light and somehow I immediately found a connection with these beautiful compositions. Lunar Falls is actually one hell of an emotive and melancholic work of art that has some kind of an evocative and cathartic inwardness. It's an album inspired by nature which gives a shelter on a quest for identity. The themes are about life on the margins, suffering and sacrifice, and it's dedicated to the memory of Aleah Starbridge, the unforgettable singer of Trees Of Eternity.

Suldusk is Emily Highfield’s one-woman band coming from Melbourne (Australia) and I know that you'll now think that we deal with another Myrkur clone... far from that, Suldusk is an entity on its own, even though that also this music deals with similar elements like Myrkur's, that's atmospheric black metal, post rock, blackgaze, neo-folk and a bit of melancholic doom, Suldusk is way more shimmering and serves with magical mystical darkness. It has to do more with before mentioned Trees Of Eternity or even Alcest, Austere, but as well with the likes such as Auri and Blackmore's Night at certain moments to be exact, but enough about comparisons.

Lunar Falls is an album that consumes the listener from the opening intro "Eleos" on. The music is mostly dark neo-folk with many acoustic lines that are in perfect harmony with occasional blackened outbursts, like for example in "Solus Ipse", "Aphasia" or in the almost epic and suspenseful magnificent closer "Sovran Shrines". Emily's voice is breathtaking, emotive, sensual, strong, she so lightly deals with shrieking black metal voice at the very right times that many of male black metal singers can't. Don't get me wrong, this is not music for fans of traditional black metal, no way, even though that Suldusk can be very ferocious, most of the album consists of beautiful melancholic songs that have almost nothing to do with it.

When Emily sings clean, and that's a dominant vocal style here, she simply toys with listeners emotions. At certain parts she reminds me to Aleah Starbridge, at others to Candice Night and sometimes also to Johanna Kurkela. "The Elm", a beautiful sorrowful folkish ballad, an adaptation of Trees Of Eternity' “Sinking Ships”, brings shivers down the spine, as well songs like is deeply melancholic "Catacombs" with amazingly catchy refrain and beautiful mournful cello, or "Three Rivers" which sound like a perfect combination of Trees Of Eternity and early Blackmore's Night with a special Emily's touch that makes it even more consistent, deep and harmonic, are perfect examples of her talent and sense for creating more than beautiful emotional dark pieces with depth. "Nazaré" is another stunning piece where shimmering acoustic lines meet dark folk and atmospheric post rock in a perfect combination, it's nothing but addictive melancholic art that gets deep into your soul and I belive that you will be whispering these captivating melodies for a long time.

Suldusk here actually is not only Emily Highfield, even if she's responsible for most of this work, she got some notable guest who helped her in marvelous way. The album was produced by Mark Kelson of the mighty Melbourne based gothic/doom band The Eternal, who did one hell of a great job here, he as well played some guitars, bass and keys, then Glenn James was responsible for percussions, Marty O’Shea (The Eternal) for drums, Francesca Mountford played cello, plus some others like guitarists Nicky Blackmore and Bryan Murphy added their touch. No matter what and who played something the whole thing is so very cohesive, otherworldly and simply mesmerizing. The songs have the necessary pathos and interesting progressions, it's dense and atmospheric.

Suldusk's debut Lunar Falls sounds better than many bands on their tenth album or so, it's a journey into our inwardness, it brings darkness and light, it's highly inspiring and encouraging. Lunar Falls is one of the best emotional melancholic yet blackened things that I heard lately. Great job Emily did here and I can't wait for hers next output.

"Lay your words through solemn forests
Flood your fears through the fog
Carry On, Drown The Sun"

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 9,5/10