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Cellar Darling - This is the Sound

Format: CD purchase
Released: 2017
Label: Nuclear Blast
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 8/10

Cellar Darling is the new project from Anna Murphy, Merlin Sutter, and Ivo Henzi, following their departure from the rising folk-Metal outfit, Eluveitie. Aside from being easier to pronounce and spell, the band name is taken from Murphy’s 2013 solo album, “Cellar Darling.”


Their debut is called, “This is the Sound,” and judging by that sound, Anna’s distinctive vocals and hurdy gurdy should easily carry their rise in the Folk Metal world. She’s not the only talent in the band, but hers is exceptional.
The album begins with the song, “Avalanche” (Avalavalanche?), which is easily the catchiest song you’ll hear this month. Go ahead and find it on Youtube for a listen; if it isn’t stuck in your head for the next ten minutes, I’ll send you a nickel (disclaimer: offer void, we aren’t sending you anything). This is the standout track on the album, but “Black Moon” could also have some legs as a single, and there are plenty of other good moments throughout, including the connected songs, “Water,” and “Fire, Win, and Earth.”
For all of the folksy instrumentation and singing-sometimes-sort-of-yodeling, the songs have very fundamental, almost Poppy foundations, which call to mind heavy bands like Foo Fighters, Gojira, and Evanescence, in addition to Eluveitie, Galley Beggar, and their much sillier contemporaries in the Pirate Metal scene. There’s an endearing earnestness to Cellar Darling’s approach and their immersion in their own distinctive sound. The biggest negative aspect to the record would be the studio smoothness of it all. The songs are very, very polished. I’d like to hear them rediscover some of the grit of their former outfit on future releases. And yes, as strong as this is, there’d better be future Cellar Darling releases!


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