Sunday, 10 November 2013

NORTHUMBRIA - ALL DAYS BEGIN AS NIGHT

All Days Begin as Night cover art

Northumbria is an Experimental Ambient Drone Metal Band from Toronto, Canada

The members are: Jim Field and Dorian Williamson

NORTHUMBRIA - ALL DAYS BEGIN AS NIGHT


This year has been very good to me musically. I started writing these reviews and the 'Lord most graciously keeps posting them. The boys have continuously exposed my ears to great new sounds and acts, the type of which are the bread and butter of underground music blogs. One of my most treasured musical discoveries of the year is Northumbria. I was lucky enough to be assigned their last great release (go check out 'The Silver Forest' now if you already haven't), and I'm also lucky enough to have been assigned their latest effort. It's another stark yet pristine piece of drone wonder called 'All Days Begin As Night'. It also features some great guest collabs / remixes of other material, which I'll focus on first.

'The Sanguine Moon (Lux Lunae)' is remixed here by Theologian, who you will be hearing more about from me at a point in the not too distant future (stay tuned). Somewhat heavier in the old atmospheric department, it sounds like a mating ritual between the human spirit and a mechanical snake. It hisses and intensifies, like it's powered by steam, or menace. Just as desolate as your standard Northumbria brand desolation, but lacking the lighter-than-air resolution that comes with that. It's a great reworking, and a standout.

My other choice remix cut here is the Famine overdo of 'Threnody'. Full of glitch electronics and though processes, it beeps and chirps an lasers without losing any of the elegance that went into the original recording. What should be harsh noises if they were just isolated come together and merge gracefully within the framework that Northumbria set up originally.

And so we arrive at the main event and title track, a new piece from the band themselves. Again, they have managed to capture pure isolation in audio form, the soundtrack to being stranded in a cold landscape. It's a figure in the distance, it's succumbing to the elements. It's the spirit leaving the body. It's all of these thing and so much more. There's a picture on the group's facebook page of their current guitar rig, awash with a sea of effects pedals. There is guitar in their music somewhere, but it's always refined to a non-recognisable point where it becomes something else entirely. When they wail, it speaks to you. Outstanding.

This follow up to 'The Silver Forest' is absolutely on par with that excellent cut. More beautiful drone to contemplate to, maybe more dark in stature this time around, but no less absorbing. I'm starting to learn that you don't ever actually listen to Northumbria.

You experience them.

Written By Matt Fitton

I agree with every word that Matt has written here. This is another outstanding release from Northumbria. And long may it continue!!!

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