For fans of heavy music, the name Dorthia Cottrell is definitely familiar. The singer of the uber doom metal act Windhand has offered some of the most transcending vocal deliveries in all the releases from the band, from their self-titled full-length, the insane split with fellow doomsters Cough, to the unbelievable Soma. With her debut solo album, Cottrell steps away from the doom of Windhand, and travels towards an acoustic folk compilation of songs with a psychedelic twist, which showcases her voice in the most incredible way conceivable.
Label: Forcefield Records Release Date: March 3rd
Acoustic guitar and vocals are the main forces that drive this album, through a haze of eleven tracks that will tear you apart. The emotion that the album carries is something quite difficult to handle, through the melancholic corridors of “Cemetery Song” and the darker pathways of “Gold” and “Oak Grove,” the latter of which also has a slight ritualistic vibe to it. Lead guitar bits are present through most of this intriguing journey, offering some exquisite melodic phrases when that is necessary, as is the case with the beginning of “Gold.” Along the way, you pass through the dreamscapes of “Orphan Bird,” in which the acoustic guitar begins to have a psychedelic effect on the listener. The depth of the vocal performance on the album is insane, with the reverb also playing a bit part of the sound. In some parts, the use of backing vocals further enhances the delivery of the vocal lines, as is the case with some parts of “Orphan Bird.”
The colossal “Maybe It’s True,” spanning for over six minutes, will break your heart with its acoustic guitar lines, before the huge vocals, alongside the backing vocals, disrupt reality. The result is an overflowing altar of melodies, and a song that just exists in a whole other level. And then you get the true heartbreak in all its glory, with tracks such as “Moth” and the Townes Van Zandt cover, “Rake.” The double vocals of “Moth” and the deep performance on “Rake” can be considered some of the best moments of this album. The tracks are direct and simple, but they manage to carry such emotion and strength that will haunt you for weeks to come.
The lead guitar makes a comeback in “Perennial” to enhance the dimensionality of the music, at the same time giving a more hallucinogenic aura to the song. The more repetitive “Kneeler” gives a downtrodden vibe to the album, as Cottrell gives one of the most expressive performances of the album, while “Song for You” flirts with a retro feeling.
Cottrell has created a delicate album filled with emotion. The simplicity of the album in terms of instrumentation acts in its advantage, while Cottrell’s vocals stand out in all their glory. A great album which will help you escape reality altogether.