Under the Oak Tree...

Posted on 29th February 2020

So for the February spotlight, I'm going to look at a band called Cellar Darling.

The band are from Switzerland, and grew out of a band called Eluveitie, which has been around since 2002, mixing folk, symphonic metal, rock and death metal. Think All About Eve combined with Killswitch Engage, singing in a language you've never heard before, and you'll be close. All three members of Cellar Darling were in Eluveitie. but left in 2016 to form Cellar Darling.

There are some elements of Cellar Darling that will be familiar to fans of Eluveitie, but Cellar Darling have a much more accessible style, taking just the folk rock and symphonic rock elements with them. Anna, vocalist, flautist, synths and Hurdy-Gurdy player, brings the folk style, while guitarist/bassist Ivo and drummer Merlin bring the symphonic style to the band. For me Cellar Darling bring a cleaner style to the genre than some other bands, and without meaning to be detrimental, they have a refreshingly simpler sound. As a consequence, they breath life into songs and stories, where other bands often sound like they're trying too hard.

Their first album, This Is the Sound, was released in 2017. It manages to conjure an almost medievel landscape though the words and music, and maybe because I know where the come from, they evoke visions of Alpine escapades through forests and over mountain trails, somewhere around Switzerland, Austria and Southern Germany. It's a wonderful mix of ethereal folk, driving rock rythmns, together with some atomspheric synth sounds. As a debut album, it certainly packs a punch and sets the table for a successor.

That follow-up came in 2019 in the form of The Spell, a concept album, which portrays some very Grimms Fairy Tale style storying telling, with contemporary themes, and poignant lyrics. Once again that driving rock soundscape underpins a very classical influenced vocal. The folk elements are deliciously woven throughout the album, with flute, hurdy-gurdy and acoustic guitar all making appearances. In the song Death, there features a middle section apart from the rest of the song, and I can't help be reminded of the song Black Sabbath by (obviously) Black Sabbath. Both pieces are haunting, atmospheric and sinister, and although the two bands are quite different, they both capture that dramatic feeling, drawing you into the story and taking you to another world. Burn also has that undercurrent of early 70s Sabbath influence too, but again woven intricately with many other influences too.

All in all, they are a fine addition to the Symphonic Rock genre, which they seem most often attributed, but they are so much more than that too. I look forward to them touring the UK, as I can imagine they are quite something to see live. Favourite songs currently are Black Moon and Death. If you want to find out more, head over to
https://www.cellardarling.com/ and check them out.

File Under: music

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