Review: Suldusk – Lunar Falls

Emily Highfield hails from Melbourne, Australia and in 2016 she started Suldusk. Suldusk, with Emily as its sole member, plays music that can’t be called metal for 100%, but it surely has some similarities. With Suldusk Emily creates dark neofolk with postrock- and atmospheric black metal-influences. In 2017 she already released an acoustic EP which was a collaboration with Skyggefigurrer. Recently, on April the 12th to be more precise, Suldusk’s full-length debut, titled Lunar Falls, was released via Northern Silence Productions. On Lunar Falls Emily is assisted by guitarist/bass player/keyboard player Mark Kelson, percussionist Glenn James, drummer Marty O’Shea, additional guitarists Nicky Blackmore and Bryan Murphy and cellist Francesca Mountford.

Lunar Falls starts with an intro called Eleos which starts with sounds from nature and builds up to more intense and haunting atmospheres with Emily using her voice in a haunting as well as a beautiful way. That Emily can do a lot with her voice is something that becomes very clear on Lunar Falls. Whether we hear beautiful, high vocals, like in Solus Ipse, a bit lower and darker singing in that same song, very beautiful, melodic vocals that aren’t extremely high or low, but more neutral, like in The Elm and Three Rivers, or extremely intense screams that go through marrow and bone, like in Aphasia and Sovran Shrines, Emily is able to do it all and she does so in an very well executed way. Varying between these quite fast also isn’t a problem for her, like we can hear in Solus Ipse, but especially during the end of Catacombs.

Instrumentally we can also hear some nice things on Lunar Falls. There is some very nice percussion in for example The Elm and Drogue, the cello is used in a beautiful way in songs like The Elm, Drogue and Catacombs, in the last mentioned even in two different ways: during the more quiet, melodic start as well as during the dark ending of the song. Furthermore the acoustic guitar delivers a lot of great atmosphere on this album, such as in Aphasia, Drogue and Sovran Shrines. At some moments in that last mentioned song, which is the closing track of Lunar Falls, a bit more shoegazing guitars can be heard as well to build up towards the atmospheric black metal influences one last time. However, going towards the atmospheric black metal influences in Suldusk’s unique way: including that same acoustic guitar! A very nice and interesting combination for sure.

When you’re searching for the heavier, more metal-y parts of Lunar Falls you will probably like the heavier songs Solus Ipse and Aphasia most, as well as the end of Sovran Shrines. However, I would surely recommend you to also experience the other parts of Lunar Falls. That’s what Lunar Falls is: an perfect atmospheric experience. Beautiful atmospheric melodies, such as in Aphasia, the instrumental Autumnal Resolve and Catacombs, amazingly beautiful, melodic ballads such as Three Rivers, Drogue and The Elm, which is in memory of Aleah Starbridge, as well as the aforementioned heavier parts, are making Lunar Falls a complete experience that preferably is experienced in its totality.

With Lunar Falls Suldusk delivers an awesome and very strong debut album which is surely recommended for fans of the more atmospheric sides of metal, but fans of the more folkier and/or melodic metal probably also can appreciate this very well. Are you a fan of Myrkur? In that case it almost can’t be else than that Suldusk is also very interesting for you! A very strong debut by a band we hopefully will hear more about in the future.

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