SEASON OF ARROWS - Give it to the Mountain
Can I just say this is one of the best releases of 2017 and be done? Ah, I guess not. Alright so what we have here is a stoner rock act that adds plenty of psych and sludge to their sound. Oh yeah and their vocalist is a woman. Yeah I know you've heard it, seen it and read about it all before. But what makes my extreme interest in SEASON OF ARROWS is how much they are not typical. For starters the band hails from Nashville, Tennessee, not Athens, GA or Richmond, VA or England or from Europe. If you look at a band photo you won't see a bunch of hipsters or goth types. Actually they look like my friends, kinda rough. And then there's the music which is also off the typical template.
When you have bands putting out this style of doom and with female singers they tend to do two things. They mix the vocals back into the mix so the singer sounds like a ghost which means their masking a bad singer. Or they place the vocals way out front in order to focus attention on the singer and less on the boring music. With SEASON OF ARROWS you have front-woman Stormie Wakefield's vocals on equal footing with the music. Maybe that's because she can sing and has a versatile range perfectly compatible with this type of music. You get that early with the opener "Farewell to the Horseman" which starts out with a folk laden intro until sludge kicks in and Wakefield's scorching and powerful vocal delivery hits.
Sound wise speaking the band besides Stormie Wakefield (guitarists Brandon Shepard and Dave Gates, bassist Shawn Van Dusen and Brad Lawson on drums) perform a sound compariable to something inbetween COUGH and KYLESA but stretched out in order to allow the songs room to grow or better yet, carry you along. They don't drag things along to the point where you have to check your pulse after five minutes. On songs like "Evening Lord", "Bellow" or the mournful "Autumn Wings" the band as a whole have you holding on to every note every verse.
Whenever someone writes about the thing they admire there's always going to be the assumption of hyperbole on the reader's part. Please don't even think that here. Whether it's the song craft or the cool vocal performance clearly SEASON OF ARROWS are standouts and my opening comment is secure. This is truly a great release.