40 Watt Sun were borne from the ashes of English band Warning, a band that ceased to exist after only two full length albums (albums separated by seven years and an extensive hiatus). Their demise was much mourned in doom circles, and then this little gem came along to brighten the day. If slow, down-tempo riffs are the kind of thing to brighten your day of course.
We start off with "Restless," and as with other tracks on The Inside Room it's characterised by extremely poignant lyrics, processional style guitar lines and the voice of founder Patrick Walker. A voice that positively drips with emotion, you honestly feel as though these songs are seized from the fathomless depths of the soul. Whether they are or not, is an entirely different story. Walker is an extremely private man, and you can only imagine the true extent of the nature of the lyrics.
This album is heavy. Probably not in the sense that most people are used to; it's not fast and it's not full of intense drum work and there's barely any solos. But it's as heavy as it gets. This is doom done right, crushingly tuned guitar tones, and sometimes so slow burning you're not sure whether anything is going to happen. Sometimes it takes a long time to say something worthwhile, and 40 Watt Sun will definitely make it worth your time.
The standout track for me is "Carry Me Home." There's something in the words that really hits you hard, especially if you're nowhere near the place you call home. It's a song that seems full of loneliness, building to a feeling of such woe that you're not sure how you can take much more. That's not to say that this is an album built entirely on sorrow. Because deep down, it's actually quite a hopeful record. It may not be obvious, but if you've heard anything by Warning (and I highly recommend checking out Watching From A Distance), you can immediately distinguish that the time in-between has lent itself to learning and growing, and being optimistic.
It would be lazy to say that 40 Watt Sun are just a reincarnation/extension of Warning, and there's always going to be that association, but this is a band that can stand entirely on their own merit. The Inside Room feels fresh, and whilst steeped in metal lore, it's an album that can without doubt, be proclaimed as one of the most affecting debuts of the year.
8.5 / 10
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