Sunday, May 11, 2014

Season of Arrows: Season of Arrows (2014)

Witchy Doom Metal

How many times have I already written some version of this review? The setup: Doom metal band has female vocalist. They play doom and she sings. It kind of sounds like X or Y mixed with A or B. Yet I keep finding good reasons to write this review.

Season of Arrows is the latest in a long string of female-fronted doom bands. But while it would appear they've jumped on one of the less-noted bandwagons of the last few years, they've managed to cut a swathe through and around the cliches. You may find it worthwhile to read this.

If you had to pick one "for fans of" band to easily package Season of Arrows, it would be Witch Mountain. But Nashville's SoA is even more rock 'n' roll than Portland's heaviest crew; they're a little less big-dick-swinging and a little more toe-tapping. Stormie Wakefield's vocals are a little more witchy woman and a little less soul queen. Like Witch Mountain, they have opted for a deliciously raw production.

While all of these elements suggest a retro appeal, or even an occult rock angle, neither of those applies. The dissonance and clever lurch-lurch-stutter rhythm on album standout "Trace Elements" are thoroughly up-to-date. "Soul of the City" is the most traditional song on the album, but even it bears telltale signs of its modernity. In other words, this is a T-shirt and jeans band, not a meticulously costumed act.

And just to assuage any questions you might have if you've read my doom metal reviews before, you can be assured the record is thoroughly dynamic and none of the songs overstay their welcome. More than a few are catchy tunes as well.

Who would have thought we needed another female-fronted doom band? Apparently, we did.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

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