Midlands based doom band Alunah will return this autumn with new music and an updated lineup. The EP entitled Amber & Gold will feature the exciting and powerful delivery of new vocalist Siân Greenaway and will be self-released on November 16th (available for pre-order here).
We asked bassist Dan Burchmore about the 3 albums that have influenced him the most during his musical career.
Make sure you check Alunah live at one of these dates:
21 October – The Frog & Fiddle, Cheltenham, UK
27 October – The Angel Microbrewery, Nottingham, UK
3 November – The Green Room, Welwyn Garden City, UK
10 November – Doom Over Vienna, Vienna, AT
17 November – Asylum 2, Birmingham, UK
1 December – The Rigger, Stoke, UK
8 December – The Swan, Ipswich, UK
Metallica – …and Justice for All
Metallica have been the biggest influence in my life, and as a bass player people always are usually surprised when I declare that this is my favourite album of all time, as the production process rendered the bass frequencies somewhat ‘low’ in the mix. Regardless, this album truly turned my world upside down when I was just a 15 yr old. From the comments on nuclear devastation to ecological issues, I couldn’t fathom how a band could sound so heavy and ferocious while still avoiding metal cliches and being direct in their message. ‘Harvester of Sorrow’ was the standout track to me, its haunting intro, slow chugging riffs and dark lyrical content made me feel uneasy, and I was fascinated music could make me feel that way. Maybe it was these early, addictive feelings of unease that led me to seek the doomier side of music later on.
To me, I feel Metallica’s early albums purveyed a ‘do or die’ attitude and there was no compromise when it came to the music they wanted to make. That definitely resonated with me as the cliched young frustrated teenager. I’d be confident in saying that the DVD accompaniment of them performing live in Seattle ‘89 is directly responsible for me picking up a musical instrument and wanting to attempt to make half as much racket as they did.
Kyuss – Blues for the Red Sun
This was my first foray into the world of stoner rock. I had been seeking the heavy weight of Black Sabbath’s monolithic riffs, and stumbled upon Kyuss in an online forum for metal in the early 2000s. At the time I didn’t know anyone else who listened to them, and I had never heard anything like it before. It was a genre that had completely gone over my head up until that point, and it slotted perfectly between my Sabbath worship and ‘Tallica fanboysim’. I played this album to death and desired to find fellow musicians who wanted to experiment with light and dark dynamics, and create heavy, weighty sounds. For me this is demonstrated to perfection on ‘Apothecaries Weight’, which slowly builds from gentle corona infused guitar to a massively desert drenched heavy outro.
Due to being from a small town with limited resources this desire went unsatisfied, and it was because of this band I ventured outside the local scene to find more diverse musicians. Kyuss had a huge impact on the music I wanted to make, and once they had opened me up to stoner rock I found myself on the mountainous pilgrimage into doom metal. As a result of being in a touring doom metal band, I actually had the privilege of meeting the original drummer Brant Bjork backstage at a festival in Switzerland, where I proceeded to gush all over the man and tell him how much this album meant to me. Although, I’m sure Brant was pretty baked at the time!
Johnny Cash – At Folsom Prison
I’ve always been drawn to musicians that stand alone in their art and Johnny Cash epitomises that for me. His dark, black comedic songs and real world subject matter have a very ‘doom’ atmosphere to some of them, all while being executed in the form of a man who could be believed to be sitting on death row. That is why this album was so influential to me, as I felt as an art form his music couldn’t have been played in a more suitable setting. The whole ‘outlaw’ persona he portrayed so well merges with the atmosphere of Folsom Prison to create the feeling of an inmate jamming on his guitar to pass the hours of incarceration, and if it wasn’t for his success it’s not hard to imagine Johnny himself would be in the audience.
‘25 minutes to go’ is in particular, a perfect Cash song, and makes you realise the facetious nature of life. This is real music, about real life, played by a real man to real people. For that, this album is always my go to when I feel like being grounded, and reminded of what music does for the soul.