Suldusk – Lunar Falls

Trying to conceptualize a natural world in audio is both a daunting and rewarding experience for the artist and the listener. For those that don’t have the luxury of a forest to walk through, music can ultimately fill that vacuum when it’s done well. It provides another level of escapism for the listener and can be hugely beneficial to the atmosphere and tone of a record.

This is exactly what Suldusk (real name Emily Highfield) does with her newest release Lunar Falls (Northern Silence Productions).

The theme of the record is about living on the margins, and the intolerable suffering and sacrifice in the quest for identity which is a very powerful subject to tackle especially when we are in a time of somewhat forced tribal homogeny and the perceived spiraling death of individuality. Taking on that theme is daunting but Highfield does an excellent job of tying that in the remote atmosphere generated throughout the record: you’re on your own, without your socially defined comforts in the forest and the only solitude you can find is within your own soul.

Throughout the album, there is a strong pendulum swinging between the light and dark elements of music: some songs will contain angelic melodic passages (‘The Elm’, ‘Nazaré’ whilst others will invoke a sense of harsh darkness and fear (‘Three Rivers’, ‘Solus Ipse’). The pendulum doesn’t dwell in any one area for too long and allows a gradual but important shift between moods throughout the entire record.

The last track on the record,‘Sovran Shines’, brings both of these elements in perfect balance allowing the record to demonstrate the balance between the pain of suffering and the rewards for sacrifice.

A powerful and thought-provoking record, Lunar Falls allows the listener to take their own trek into these sonic woods in search for an individuality forged in the presence of nature and not in the comforts of society.

7 / 10