I had a really strange feeling when this first started playing in my car. It started off with slow jangly, upbeat chords, the kind of thing that a calm dramatic indie movie would have if people were traveling in the beginning of the movie. With the exception that not only were those jangly chords epic in scope, but bottom end heavy.
There was a friend of mine who I got hooked on Isis, and whenever we went to the beach just to sit and drink Corona, we’d play either ISIS, CULT OF LUNA or CALLISTO. Those bands, along with a few others, like the almighty Neurosis, are practically the soundtrack to our lives (or at least mine and Brian’s). YEAR OF NO LIGHT of course fits in with the world of metalgaze, a genre that’s quickly starting to become like grind in execution. It’s enjoyable to hear some of the bands in the world of metalgaze do their thing even if it starts to become derivative because you can often feel the passion pouring off. Well, that and I guess it hasn’t become as over saturated as death metal or metalcore.
On the album “Nord”, French band YEAR OF NO LIGHT gets their inspiration as well as influence directly from ISIS and CULT OF LUNA. They’re able to grab the jangly meandering and slow atmospheric build up that ISIS specifically does, while they get their pure, pound-for-pound heaviness from CULT OF LUNA. From that, YEAR OF NO LIGHT make some portions of “Nord” intentionally uncomfortable by inserting a few bits of dissonance and screeching feedback to the dense layers. The songs on focus slowly flow to build into a heavy crush, then plateau for a long period of time to have the instruments give a long break, and then de-construct themselves for atmospheric interlude tracks. “Nord” is definitely an album that plays seamlessly from start to finish.
NEUROSIS, ISIS and CULT OF LUNA are often mentioned because they’re masters of they’re craft. I can’t exactly say that YEAR OF NO LIGHT should be mentioned right along side those three bands, as the “three kings” are also something unique, but I can say that Year Of No Light does deserve to come pretty close. I don’t think I’ve ever actually rated a band so high for executing something so well while barely pushing a boundary.