The Shining Son, the third offering from the enigmatic rockers Appalooza, is a sonic odyssey that plunges listeners into a realm where the lines between biblical allegory and raw, unfiltered human emotion blur. With their latest release, the band skillfully weaves a tapestry of narratives rooted in religious mysticism and existential turmoil, all set against the backdrop of a desert landscape that echoes with the footsteps of a lost steed named Appalooza.
Following their critically acclaimed sophomore effort, The Holy of Holies, this album stands as a testament to the band’s evolution. Appalooza has masterfully crafted a collection of eight powerful tracks, each laced with a unique blend of stoner rock, alternative, grunge, and acoustic tribal influences. The result is an album that’s both expansive and intimate, inviting the listener into a world where chaos and salvation dance in a delicate balance.
The Shining Son serves as a thematic sequel to its predecessor, delving deeper into the mystique of biblical references and a cinematic storytelling approach. The band paints a vivid picture of The Horse, a divine entity represented as Azazael, as it exercises its power and sows chaos among the masses. The album’s first track, symbolically titled “The Pelican,” sets the stage, portraying The Christ weakened, unable to provide for the starving populace. It’s a compelling allegory for societal and religious disillusionment, mirroring the complexities of the human condition.
Appalooza’s music is as cathartic as it is compelling. The emotional depth is palpable, reflecting themes of fear, anger, and liberation. The album feels like an exorcism of pent-up emotions, channeling the band’s experiences into a sonic landscape that resonates with listeners on a visceral level.
The band’s musical prowess shines brightly throughout the album. Their ability to seamlessly transition from the haunting melodies of acoustic tribals to the thunderous riffs of stoner rock showcases their versatility. Each song is meticulously crafted, leaving an indelible mark on the listener’s psyche.
The Shining Son serves as a poignant commentary on the human experience. It’s an album that demands attention, inviting listeners to delve deep into its intricacies and unravel the layers of its narrative. While some tracks stand out more prominently than others, the album as a whole is a cohesive and immersive journey.
In the vast desert of contemporary music, The Shining Son is a beacon of creativity and depth. While it falls just shy of perfection due to occasional pacing inconsistencies, it is undeniably a powerful addition to their discography, earning a well-deserved score of 4 out of 5 stars. Appalooza has once again proven that they are a force to be reckoned with in the realm of alternative rock, leaving listeners eagerly anticipating their next musical expedition.
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Released by Ripple Music on October 20, 2023