There’s very little mid-range in the music of popular Portland quartet Blackwater Holylight: It’s all or nothing.
“There’s lots of ways of describing our sound, but I think that’s what makes it intriguing to me,” Blackwater bassist and vocalist Allison “Sunny” Farris tells me via email.
Blackwater Holylight come to Eugene for the first time behind their self-titled 2018 release, and the album is absolutely charbroiled in low-end, Sabbath-esque riffs carried on bass and the electric guitar’s deepest registers. But you also hear free flights of spasmodic guitar solos and ethereal vocal work, heavy and light at the same time.
In the middle, everything moves in a sort of menacing, slow-motion anodyne, like the musicians are mired in a doomy sludge. The melodies, however, are just too damn catchy, putting the band somewhere between goth rock, indie and metal.
“The listener gets to describe what they hear and where it takes them,” Farris continues. “Everyone’s experience is truly their own. We’ve gotten reviews saying we are doom, garage, sludge, pop, melodic, heavy psych, hypnotic and so on. It’s choose-your-own-adventure, I guess. To me, we just sound like us.”
Blackwater Holylight play alongside California’s Slow Season and Eugene’s White Wail 10 pm Monday, May 28, at Luckey’s; $5, 21-plus.