Within 20 seconds of opening track ‘The Fall’ you know you’re in for a treat. Tinny guitar effects mixed with haunting creaky door sounds drops you immediately into an atmosphere of a vampiric gothic soundscape. The track builds from that guitar riff into a pounding bass drum and sprinkled metal percussion before we’re welcomed into the following eight tracks of such beautiful delicacy where the mood swings from White Stripes-esque aggression (‘I Can See You’) to quieter moments on ‘Star’ but if you were expecting fragile songwriting and teeny-boppy sentiment then you’ll be hugely disappointed.

I reviewed Elli De Mon’s previous album back in 2021, the step from that release to this is nothing short of impressive, and proof that inspiration is often the first step to creation.

What runs throughout the album is balls-to-the-wall electrified blues guitar riffs and sublime solos. The guitar tone is pure 1930’s Mississippi; trebly vibrato but brought bang up to date with the vocal delivery of sexual huskiness – vicious guitar and blood red lipstick.

The mood doesn’t let up across the album, whatever criticism the album receives (and lets be honest, you’ll always find someone that doesn’t like it) you can’t deny that she is totally committed to the style of music she creates, it’s a hotch-potch of blues and garage punk and it works wonderfully well. It reminds me of 80’s synth, the way the instruments were used to create something dark and ominous – ‘Pagan Blues’ has the feeling of a something happening that isn’t going to be good. The Babadook in audio form!

‘Siren’s Call’ has the Eastern sounds of a Moroccan caravan – this is an amazing track, if you only experience on song by De Mon, make it this – it builds from a simple gruff guitar riff but adds layer upon layer, you can practically see lanterns swinging in the wind as the sun sets and the desert stretches out before you.

We finish the ride with ‘Troubled’, sitting back in the comfort of Deep South blues with that whispered vocal stripping back all the gimmicks to a very welcoming core. This is my first foray into the bluesy, gothic underbelly world of Elli De Mon, but it won’t be my last, this is an amazing way to take an often-imitated genre and give it a shiny new coat. Nothing feels gimmicky or false here, you can imagine these songs sound just as good in the flesh. Brilliant.

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