With my continued sabbaticals from this blog, I’ve been missing out on plenty of releases from bands I would usually be following pretty closely. Part of this may be due to not having Facebook anymore but part of it is definitely laziness. However, this week I got lucky.
Norska is a killer sludge band from Oregon who I wrote about in 2012. They just released a new track from their upcoming album, “Too Many Winters”, their first since 2012. The track in question is “Samhain” and it takes the sounds that Norska started with and starts to weave them in a new direction.
Their previous outputs had them firmly sloshing through the deeper waters of doom, with long, ominous interludes and barrages of demonic vocals, laced over some truly nasty riffs. It was slow, deliberate and evil.
“Samhain” on the other hand, opens up with a hard charge and clean vocals, before getting down into some neck snapping grooves and underworld bellowing. Then, things get weird. A looping guitar line comes out of the murk and starts running circles inside your head only to get snapped down into some jazzy noodling and then slapped right out again into some almost mathematical territory.
I like this.
There’s a lot going on in this track, from the algebraic noodling and sticky sludge riffs, to almost NWOBHM sounding melodies and clean vocals. This has gotten me real excited to see what the whole album will hold.
“Too Many Winters” will be released on May 26th through Brutal Panda Records.
First weekend in a real long time I actually had nothing that needed to be done or handed in on Monday. Suffice to say I don’t remember a whole lot of what happened over the past 48 hours. So here’s some sludge for whatever might ail you.
With Oregon giving birth to so many great bands, Norska is no exception to the rule. Unrelenting musical weight and darkness are just the tip of the satanic iceberg on their self titled release. As with most sludge bands, Norska drop the hammer with a multi-pronged attack of down tuned guitars, crushing fuzz and apocalyptic vocals. At times their sound reaches outside of the murky sphere of sludge and grabs elements from progressive, post-metal and a morbid taste of doom.
Monstrous riffs provide the background for the rest of their influences to dances around. Howling solo work flits between the behemoth hammering while the vocal work brings an air of insurmountable doom and torment to the mix. Frantic bursts of an almost death metal intensity punctuate the otherwise molasses pace, helping to keep things from turning into just another sludge-a-thon. All of these intricacies are shown at their best in the 13 minute epic “They Mostly Come at Night”, where progressive ambiance and musicality is in a continual struggle with the sticky, oozing and doom bringing hammer of sludge.
The lack off fuzz and distortion add to the ferocity that Norska brings to the table. The production is sparkly clean compared to some other releases, which provides a contrast to the overall feeling of evil and ill tiding the album provides. The kind of evil that makes you consider the possibility of the band not even playing this music, just acting as channels for Satan to project his dark religion from the bowels of hell. That what your actually listening to is the tortured moans of a dying soul, the sound of your inevitable doom made physical. Or maybe they’re just a really good band, you never know.
The self titled EP is up for a name your price option on Bandcamp, so don’t be a tightwad and send some money their way if you decide to pick this one up. Hail Satan!