Northless really have an uncanny knack of being able to make Doom and Sludge sound even more intense and depressive than many others are capable of. This three track E.P. is a prime example of that, throwing out dark, malevolent waves of intense and rhythmic guitar and percussion, conveying decay and hopelessness with every chord.
First track ’Valley Of Lead’ is probably the most accessible track of the three on offer, Erik Stenglein’s vocals really shine through here, conjuring images of constraint and imprisonment amongst the damned. “I crawl amongst the shunned, in the valley of lead….” pretty much gives you an insight into the mood purveyed by the band on this song. Doom laden riffs ensure the track weighs heavy on the soul, adding to the overall feel of melancholia.
Track two ’Casualty’ may have a more technical and faster paced riff at its heart but it still wont have you dancing through the Tulips. A wonderful leaden guitar sound that pummels the senses, backed by a vocal that screams and growls malevolence from somewhere deep within, it really is joyous in its depression.
Final track ’Elegy’ is actually a cover ( The Jesus Lizard), so in some respects is different in concept to the two previous tracks, however Northless soon put their stamp on it, again Erik’s vocals beautifully convey a picture of hate and vindictiveness “Just when you’re about to learn to smile again, I’m going to be the one to teach you how to cry…”
As a taster of what the band have to offer this is an excellent opportunity to delve deep into the psyche of a group of musicians on top of their game, well recommended.
1. Valley Of Lead.
Erik Stenglein – Guitar and Vocals.
John Gleisner – Drums.
Jerry Hauppa – Bass.
Nick Elert – Guitar.
‘Valley Of Lead’ is available through Halo Of Flies Records.