Album Review: The White Swan — “Nocturnal Transmission”

I tend to jump on the opportunity to write about any metal band that includes a female member.  I love seeing women represented in the metal scene and I love supporting these badass goddesses.  The White Swan has not only one but two amazing, talented female musicians—bassist Kira Longeuay and multi-instrumentalist Mercedes Lander.  Completing this trio of musical mastery is guitarist Shane Jeffers.  The band recorded their latest EP, Nocturnal Transmission, in December 2019 and have been fine tuning it to production perfection until it’s release this past week.  This ethereal, at times dark EP is a dreamy experience with themes of love and all the dizzily romantic and complicated feelings that come along with relationships. 

The album opens with steady drumming and static guitar slowly building to introduce Mercedes Lander’s dreamy vocals.  Melodic guitar enters next along with bass and beautiful vocal harmonies.  This opening track, “In Love and Ritual,” perfectly sets the tone for the EP and builds anticipation for the remaining tracks.  This song captured my full attention right away and had me swaying and humming along.

The title track has more doomy goodness with a thick haze of low-tuned guitars and cymbal heavy drumming.  This track also features a killer, at times psychedelic, guitar solo which spans over a minute and closes out the song.  This leads beautifully into the next piece, “Purple,” which has a more atmospheric intro, with electronic ocean waves created with synths and a soothing guitar playing in the background.  The guitar is then dramatically brought to the forefront with bass and drum, breaking into riffs and amping up the energy.

The EP closes with a doomgaze cover of Tracy Bonham’s 1996 post-grunge, alternative song “Tell it to the Sky.”  This reimaged cover has the right amount of individuality without losing the essence of the original song.  The whirring vocals mimic Bonham’s classic 1990’s flair while the dark, heavy guitar and pronounced drumming makes this track consistent with the rest of Nocturnal Transmission.  Since Lander’s first band, Kittie, started in 1996, this tribute is very fitting and brings on the cozy comfort of nostalgia.

The White Swan by Tanya Candler

This EP flows beautifully and all four tracks fit together nicely.  Nocturnal Transmission is a concise and cohesive look into the talents of this trio and their dreamy music.  It is very easy to get lost in this album and float along with the soundwaves.  Sit back, relax, enjoy, and drift away with this lovely EP.


Nocturnal Transmission is available now on War Crime Recordings.  For more information on The White Swan, visit their official website.

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