At the forefront of the New Wave Of Folk Rock, the remarkable Cellar Darling could swiftly become the guiltiest of pleasures.
Having split from their previous band last year, the core of Swiss metal band Eluveitie peddle an appealing fusion of moody melodies and urgent riffs: where lush opener Avalanche lulls listeners into a false sense of dreamy security there’s a quickening of pace and an increase in volume on Black Moon. Both songs work and a record rich in sharp contrasts continues to surprise.
In truth Black Moon’s proggy mid-section will appeal to the old school but Anna Murphy’s classical tones could easily catapult Cellar Darling into a world dominated by Nightwish, Delain and the returning Evanescence. What sets this trio apart is their delight in adding the trad folk layers to their polished melodic rock: it’s a passion rather than a necessity. Or so it seems.
Lead single Challenge caused quite a commotion when it dropped last autumn but it almost seems bland by comparison 10 months on. There are better, more cerebral and sonically challenging (no pun intended) songs here but if the plan was to save the best until last then fair play to this most unpredictable of bands.
Murphy’s law dictates that no track on This Is The Sound is allowed to drift towards the mediocre and there’s simply no point second guessing Cellar Darling. Hell – this is a band that’s happy to juxtapose the upbeat Hullaballoo alongside the haunting Six Days and believe it’s actually going to work!
A wonderful introduction to a band with the wow factor. Top Cellar? Here’s hoping.