Season of Arrows – Season of Arrows (The Path Less Traveled Records, 15 April 2014)
Hey there, folks — happy Friday! For a while it seemed like an end to these days of drudgery would never arrive, but finally it’s here! Hopefully you all have something exciting planned for the weekend — myself, not so much. If it ever stops raining, my yard needs cut badly, and then for an extra special treat, I get to head out to my Grandma’s house and do even more yard work there!
But before we all head out to do whatever it is we’ll be doing for the next couple of days, I wanted to leave you with a little something you might like to listen to: the self-titled album by Nashville’s Season of Arrows that came out a little over a year ago. If you like it — and I think you might — AND if you don’t have any weekend plans yet, AND if you happen to be within driving distance of Frederick, Maryland, you can go check out this band in person at the Maryland Doom Fest! More on that later, but first…
Released in mid-April last year, Season of Arrows is the debut full-length from this quintet of Nashvillians. What you’ll find here is nine tracks — around forty-eight minutes — of solid old-fashioned, traditional doom metal. Nothing frilly or fancy, nothing overly complex. Just straightforward doom riffs one after another, usually with doubled guitar parts, and often trebled (no pun intended) by the bassline underneath. Sometimes one of the guitars will slip into a more melodic or leading role, but overall the arrangements are fairly uncomplicated. Which can be a bit of a breath of fresh air, when compared with some other folks who do their damndest to shoehorn as much as they possibly can into everything.
On top of the elements already named, the drums and vocals both ooze with reverb, giving the whole thing a sense of spaciousnes — as though it had been recorded in an expansive concert hall or auditorium. Those vocals are probably one of the more distinctive aspects of this band, showing off singer Stormie Wakefield‘s versatility in such a way that I suspect she’d feel equally at home on karaoke night with selections from Debbie Harry, Janis Joplin, or Brian Molko. The vocal presentation, though, is somewhat more reminiscent of 27 or Siouxsie and the Banshees, in that the singing style often sounds sweet and gentle, but there is clearly a lot of darkness just beneath the surface. The contrast becomes even more striking when set against a backdrop that is far more metallic in nature than either of those other bands.
In the end, the listener is left with some pretty bad-ass heavy riffs to groove along with, together with rather enchanting singing, for a total package of highly catchy, memorable songs. Particular stand-outs for me include the grab-you-by-the-collar-right-off-the-bat opener “Submersible,” the slightly funky “Ox Blood,” and the somewhat lengthier and sometimes more introspective “Trace Elements.” You can hear the whole thing via The Path Less Traveled‘s Bandcamp:
Then, as I mentioned before, the band will be appearing tomorrow night (27 June) at Cafe 611 in Frederick, Maryland, as part of the three-day Maryland Doom Fest. Season of Arrows is actually starting things off Saturday, with a scheduled time of 4:45 PM. They’ll be followed by our BFFs, Pittsburgh’s own Slaves BC, and a whole slew of other great bands — ending with Indiana’s Apostle of Solitude and the legendary Spirit Caravan. Check out the full details of all three days of this event (including ticket info) right here.
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