Luna – Swallow Me Leaden Sky (Solitude Productions)Thursday, 14th December 2017
Gauging by the album title alone, you can tell that Luna is not going to provide an overly pretty and happy ride. Though there’s still always a more touching and beautiful side to doom and gloom in the right perspective. The Ukrainian band’s particular brand of doom is more funeral in nature, and instrumental on top of it all.
There are only two tracks that make up this 44-minute album. So think of Luna’s approach to doom as one that does take the time to stop and smell the (decaying) roses. You won’t really find anything overly aggressive, instead there’s a strong sense of yearning and contemplation that embodies both “Everything Becomes Dust” and the title track. Slow, churning guitars and bleak darkness swells around symphonic grandeur to create a sizeable level of oppression as each track moves through its extended time-frame. The combination of the sluggish guitars and symphonic elements does give the band a heightened cinematic scope. This is easily something that you could imagine being the background for a film, albeit one that is willing to serve up some crippling moments of depression. Likewise, you can find yourself getting lost in the movement of riffs and strings as you go along. This is entirely mood music at its core. No real standout moments but it can surround you in its atmosphere. The lack of vocals never hinders the band either – there’s enough going on with the symphonic end that you’ll never think about where a vocal would fit (though there is some light choral-type segments in the title track).
While an album comprised of two 20+ minute instrumental tracks may initially appear daunting, Luna do find a way to dig under your skin with Swallow Me Leaden Sky. A true glimpse into the abyss, even if it’s a trip you may not want to take every day.