When Aleah Starbridge passed away due to cancer in April 2016, at the far-too-tender age of 39, the South Africa-born singer left behind her a small yet potent musical legacy, a raft of unfinished material, a huge potential, and an unforgettable presence that continues to resonate across the metal scene.
A member of Finland’s Trees Of Eternity (opens in new tab), alongside partner and Swallow The Sun lead guitarist Juha Raivio, her gossamer-woven vocals flowed with slow-burning melancholic elegance amongst heart-heavy death doom made yet more devastating by the fact she was taken soon after the recording of their debut album, Hour Of The Nightingale, released potshumously six months later.
The weight of her loss can be felt on the two albums Juha has recorded since, Hallatar (opens in new tab)’s No Stars Upon The Bridge and Swallow The Sun (opens in new tab)’s latest, album, last year’s When a Shadow Is Forced Into The Light.
Aleah Starbridge had also recorded a number of demos for a proposed solo album. now lovingly brought to fruition by Juha and released as an eponymous double album of acoustic and solo material under the name Aleah. By turns, intimate, lush and enchanting, it’s a scenic journey through emotional hinterlands that feel both deeply personal and a sacred passing of folk memory.
Released digitally via Svart Records (opens in new tab) on Aleah’s birthday, July 1, and with various physical editions due very soon, Aleah is testimony to a talent that had far more to give, but one whose gracefully borne emotional weight will surely linger indefinitely.
We are very honoured to offer a glimpse into that talent, in the form of a beautifully illustrated lyric video for the song Inverted Enlightenment. Created by created by Dronicon Films (opens in new tab), its stark yet delicately wrought imagery set in a lighthouse overlooking stormy seas is a fitting setting for the song’s exiled, ethereal yet luminous lament.
Cast your hearts and minds to the far reaches of your emotional maps and seek out the most elusive yet necessary of bearings to Inverted Enlightenment below.
Pre-oder Aleah at the Svart Records web shop (opens in new tab)