Wim S. : It is an odd CD, 'Under Punishment's Tree' by the French outfit Red Mourning. The band itself describes her music as a combination of hardcore and blues. That is a pretty miraculous combination, isn’t it? I do not really hear that on this CD either. Of course there are some hardcore influences but in my opinion it is just a metal album, with here and there trips to power, stoner and sludge. And that's what I also found four years ago when I reviewed their previous CD 'Where Stone And Water Meet'.
The hardcore element is mainly reflected in the lead vocals that are often outrageous over the top. Strangely enough, however, there are also very melodic vocal lines, sometimes even with harmony vocals ('Dying Days'). That is pretty well done. Drummer Aurelien deserves a special mention: this guy plays the most complex parts and does so very convincingly. He does not look at a break more or less, one could say. Where on the last album you could hear a country blues guitar, it is now limited to 'Slow Bend' and ‘Chained To The Stones’ and it is especially heavy metal riffs that we hear. Personally, I find the vocals of Hoog a tad tiring: it is so bred. In fact, I find it much better to handle when the vocals are more subdued (yes, they do) like in 'Blue Drums' and 'Chained To The Stones'. All in all a good album if you are into this kind of music.