Dam Kat – Alawn
This is the most recently released album included so far and in my opinion one of the most underrated albums of 2018. I don’t actually remember how I came about this album. I have a sneaking suspicion that I might have been sent it by Dam Kat herself for review, which, sadly, I didn’t do! I hope the inclusion here goes someway to redress the balance. Sorry Kat!
Dam Kat, aka Kathy Millot is part of the French band Children in Paradise, which was conceived in 2007 with guitarist Gwalchmei Hengrist , the band went on to record two albums, the 2011 release Esyllt and 2016’s Morrigan. Alawn is her first solo outing.
There is no easier way to say it, from the pseudo Gregorian start of Courage and Sorrow to the folky finish of final track I Believe, Alawn is a delight!
The aforementioned Courage and Sorrow entices you in with a folky beginning, morphing into a symphonic mode with breathless vocals before invoking a very Celtic feel with the addition of Uillean pipes by Loic Blejean. Finally it grabs you by the bollocks as it turns towards the heavy side but without ever losing the pipes which battle with Dam Kats emotional wail for supremacy, before dropping back to the opening motif to close.
To be honest that just about sums the album up, it has it’s quiet moments, it has it’s folky moments, it has it’s symphonic moments, it has its heavy moments, hell it even has a couple of moments that could even be classed as Death Metal. The one thing that makes this album stand out is that it mixes all of those diverse elements together and comes up with a whole which is extremely gratifying to listen to!
The glue in all of this is Dam Kat herself and her seemingly endless vocal range, pitiful one moment, beautiful another, terrifying the next with all of the ranges in between. If that wasn’t enough, she wrote all of the music, arrangements and lyrics. Definitely a force to be reckoned with.
Apparently there is another album in the pipeline but in the meantime I’m off to seek out the Children in Paradise releases!