40 WATT SUN — The Inside Room (review)

40 WATT SUN — The Inside Room album cover Album · 2011 · Doom Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
1/5 ·
The Inside Room is the debut album from UK doom metal act 40 Watt Sun. The band is a new venture from Patrick Walker (vocals, guitars) and Christian Leitch (drums), both formerly of the now defunct doom metal band Warning. The three-piece line-up is completed by bassist William Spong. The Inside Room is an entirely self-produced affair that was released in 2011, and features five songs of traditional doom metal, with a total running time of about forty-seven minutes, so expect some long tracks.

If slow-paced fuzzy and heavy doom metal is your thing, then I can’t see any reason why The Inside Room wouldn’t meet with approval. The guitars are heavy, with the doom atmosphere created really well with the slow tempo. Patrick Walker’s vocals are clear and easy to follow, and the production suits the sound the band seems to have gone for as well as it possibly could. This is unfortunately where anything really positive about The Inside Room comes to an abrupt end.

Maybe I just don’t like doom metal (at least not enough), but other than the fact this is in no way a terrible release, I don’t actually find a lot to write home about when listening to The Inside Room. The first track, Restless, in particular, is so long and drawn out using the same patterns in the music that it gets boring very fast, especially when it only really picks up when past the eight minute mark in its near eleven minute duration, and by then my attention has wandered off somewhere else entirely, and by that time it’s too late to save the track. The music is certainly in no way offensively bad, but it doesn’t strike as being particular innovative either. There are barely any riffs of note, just chord stabs that are allowed to fade out before another is played, and other than changes of lyrics it’s often like listening to the same song five times over, since there’s very little variation in the style of riffs, or the delivery of the vocals. The songs, in other words, have little to no identity from each other. A few instrumental bits offer some more positive factors to consider, but with such parts few and far between 40 Watt Sun’s debut serves more to send me to sleep than to sit up and pay attention to the music.

As I said earlier, I guess if this brand of doom metal is your thing then The Inside Room will probably sound like a much more worthy effort from 40 Watt Sun to your ears, but unfortunately I just find this one boring and mostly uninspired. Second track Open My Eyes is easily the best of the bunch, with such an improvement in quality to Restless that it was able to bring my attention back pretty quickly, but the release overall is just too repetitive and stale for my taste, and I can’t see it appealing to anyone except major doom metal fans. A ‘fans only’ rating is most appropriate I think. Again, The Inside Room is by no means a bad album. At the very least it’s certainly not something that only inspires me to turn it off in disgust, but if I want a doom metal fix from 2011 I’ll stick with Argus’ latest album Boldly Stride the Doomed, thanks all the same.

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven, scored at 4.2/10)
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more than 2 years ago
It's a very niche album/band. The appeal is limited but what it does, it does very well.
Doomster wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I listened to like 30 seconds of one of their songs and I don't know what to think yet. Lol.
Wilytank wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Warning never really hooked me, and 40 Watt Sun is worse.
more than 2 years ago

After listening to it all, I like this but its really a bit much. I love post rock/metal but that does stuff. This album will probably be 2.5 for me. Just alright overall

adg211288 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Never properly explored post stuff, maybe if I had I'd have given this one more of a chance. Thanks for the comment, and yeah, personally I didn't like this very much at all, subjectively I'd have probably rated it only 1 star, but I prefer to give as fair an account as I can based on what I got from the album when listening to it.
more than 2 years ago
Oh, and good review and fair score IMO. Tough one to rate.
more than 2 years ago
Found out about this album today! Really liking it, though as a borderline doom metal fan myself must admit this can be tough stuff. Even for doom it is quite slow. Luckily post rock/metal has greatly increased my patience!

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