Artist: Blood and Sun
Album: White Storms Fall
Label: Pesanta Urfolk
Release Date: May 15th 2014
White Storms Fall is the debut album of Appalachian band Blood and Sun. Playing a melancholic blend of neofolk and dark americana, Blood and Sun bring an album that immediately grasps your attention. From the first sounds of the first track “Hewn”, invoking a smith at work, we are taken back in time, to the days when handcraft and agriculture ruled the vast inland of the United States.
Blood and Sun are a collection of musicians: Luke Tromiczak on vocals, guitar and percussion; Thomas Ashe on violin and James Carolan on bass clarinet. Angela McJunkin takes the violin and cello arrangements, and is complemented by Tanner Anderson on hamme dulcimer and percussionist Erik Wivinus. Most of these musicians are involved in metal bands, but they don't seem to consider Blood and Sun as just a side project.
The base of the sound on White Storms Fall is the European heathen tradition. From this base, all themes and lyrics of the band seem to stem, while their sound has its typical Appalachian flavor to it. This marriage of American folk traditions, and European pre-christian traditions results in a sound that seems to invoke campfires, and evenings of story-telling and passing on the secrets of generations.
According to their label: “Blood and Sun offers a dusky, intense blend of grandiose atmosphere, emotive chords and resonant baritone intonations.” I'm not sure what makes the atmosphere on White Storms Fall so special, but I do know that I kept listening over and over to this album (while I was supposed to review a number of different albums, too). Strongly recommended!