Juniper Grave - 'Of Hellions And Harridans' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 27, 2018    
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It may be relatively Doom-lite, but all great (and all being well, harmless) fun.

This four-piece Witch/Occult Rock band from Edinburgh have now released their debut album that is packed with an excess of dark folklore and incantations. It's a real sinister collection from the self-proclaimed harbingers of doom, led by lead vocalist (or should we say High Priestess Of Doom?) Jenni Sneddon who also adds that bringer of graveyard sounds, the organ, to the party alongside the standard guitar/bass/drums combination.

After two years of weaving and crafting (and no doubt a few spells were cast at the same time), they've emerged with tales of "warrior women and accursed souls". With a strong (seventy-five percent) female presence in the band, it's no surprise then that the themes lead with empowerment and sisterhood in the seven songs "of ruin and revenge". Are you scared yet? Are you ready to take a walk into 'The Forest' where the action seems to be about to happen? Ready to follow the smoke to see what there is and where it leads? There are visions of devilry abound, and we're only two minutes in...

Accompanied by what becomes a familiar soundtrack, haunting organ chords hang behind a raw yet grand three-piece design, led by some muscular guitar that follows up impressively on the dramatic intro to 'A Trick Of The Light' where we learn thankfully that you've nothing to fear if our hearts are free of sin. You won't need special sixth sense witchy powers to foresee that the subsequent 'Daughters Of The Waves' is going to follow an anticipated daughter/water/slaughter direction.

There's a satisfying lack of instrumental indulgence with the emphasis on generating an atmosphere, including the vocals (both lead and backing) that create and validate the aforementioned High Priestess image. As the sound archives are raided for the call of a hooting owl, we find ourselves wandering between realms and performing the 'Dance Of The Daemon Queen' – one that's introduced in grandiose fashion – accompanied by swirling organ chords and a guitar fanfare that surely heralds her arrival in some sort of demonic procession. Encouraged to tread carefully lest we might see the horrors lurking within, there's a dramatic turn of events that up the chill factor. A doomy jig, sacrifice preparation and choral chants all lower (or should it be raise?) the temperature, and to be fair, it may be relatively Doom-lite, but all great (and all being well, harmless) fun.

Mike Ainscoe

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