Year of No Light - Nord (Music CD)

Release Date: 02 July 2012
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Originally released in France on Radar Swarm in 2006 and then in America on Crucial Blast the following year, Year of No Light's debut got understandable attention for its take on dour, melancholy metal that owed just as much to goth and shoegaze antecedents as to more common ones. This said, it's not the uniqueness of this combination that won the plaudits -- any number of groups have worked in similar ways, and far too many of them in unremarkable ways -- but the excellence of the end results. The five-piece group, in what is almost a rarer event in these days of putting up demo tracks as soon as they've been recorded, built up to its first effort after five years of shows and steady work and the end result shows: songs like the opening "Sélénite" and the magnificent, lengthy multi-part centerpiece of Nord, "Les Mains de l'Empereur," have the immediate, easy power of veteran groups, combining memorable riffs with epic atmosphere. Year of No Light have gained many comparisons to the Cure, understandably -- there's both a richness and overwhelming force to much of the group's work that calls to mind Robert Smith and company's elegant compositions at their most guitar-heavy -- but Julien Perez's harsh but not bass-heavy screams on songs like "L'Angoisse du Veilleur de Nuit d'Autoroute les Soirs d'Alarme à Accident" are a world away from "Just Like Heaven." Meanwhile, just a brief listen to the concluding minutes of "Traversée" and its majestic but still harsh grind, or the stern introduction to "Par Economie Pendant la Crise on Éteint la Lumière au Bout du Tunnel" shows that Year of No Light know their metal straight-on as well -- this is no ironic appreciation after the fact, and more credit to them for that fact. ~ Ned Raggett
Release Date: 02 July 2012

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Catalogue No: MUF013