Sunday, 9 December 2012

Northless - Valley of Lead 10"

While I'm on a role, I thought I'd bring your a review of the latest 10" to come from Milwaukee's Northless. It's a three tracker and has been released by Halo of Flies.
This record is special however, as the cover is made from hand-cut wood, hand branded with the Northless "N" and all screwed together. Inside you get a 10" green slab of vinyl, a 9x9 insert and a download card. It's also strictly limited to just 300 copies. If that's not special enough, I don't know what is!


Tracklisting:-

1. Valley of Lead
2. Casualty
3. Elegy


Valley of Lead begins with a slow, winding sludgy build up. It breathes a heavy atmosphere out of the speakers. The vocals are low, melodic vocals, sung slowly over the top. As the song lurches and winds forward, it seems to become thicker and heavier. The infused guitar melody adds a sense of mystery to the record. At risk of embarrassing myself, I'm going to mention that this is the first time I've heard Northless, so I'm approaching this with a fresh outlook and fresh ears. I really like it when the low, growled vocals take over from the singing and the band lurch into the hypnotic section, which is filled with heavy guitars and pure noise!
An awesome introduction!

The next song, Casualty shows a different side to Northless, as they're faster and rely more on their hardcore influences. The vocals in Casualty are brutal from the off and the rhythm section keeps a beat that's off kilter and the guitars chasing. It's the kind of song that would be pretty suffocating live and would probably force unbelievers scurrying to the safety of the bar! You wouldn't see me doing that though, as burst eardrums are much more appealing than a cold beer!

Elegy sees Northless settle back into a slower tempo. The instrumental build up is bleak and conjures up all kinds of harrowing visions. The vocals here seem to be less crazed, almost spoken-word in their delivery. They blast you one last time with a final wall of noise, which sees the guitars and the cymbals blasting for prominence. It's a euphoric way to close this EP and as it dies, you're left with only your thoughts for company!
Second track Casualty is also streaming via the same link. The record should also find it's way into various European distros as soon as it's ready/
Northless have their own website at http://www.northless.com and are on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/NORTHLESS/.

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