8/10 Mike Staff review, 09 May 2012
On this record France's semi-ambient post-metal noodlers Year Of No Light have teamed up with Montreal semi-ambient post-metal noodler Thisquietarmy for a whole LP of immersive doomy jams. Each band throws in a single long composition of their own which is then followed by a collaborative piece on each of their respective sides. The Year Of No Light song has an incredibly long name and takes its time developing, building to a doomy intensity before gradually stripping back until there's nothing left but a thin, scratchy squall. Guess it falls somewhere between Aidan Baker and Sleep. Then the YONL & Tqa track which follows has slow building, ominous drones, layered and detailed and vaguely melodic but only in a subtle, drifty way, with the primary elements being celestial synth tones and distant industrial gratings and whistles. Little bit Blade Runner.
Flip it over and Thisquietarmy's offering is a slow-burning bit of dark ambience with mechanical hisses and pulses and distant, ethereal female vocals over a bed of rich drone. I don't know if it's just because I've been listening to the Drokk record a fair bit lately but it kind of sounds like a soundtrack to Mega City One, but more drawn out and fuzzy than the snapshots on the Barrow/Salisbury record. It's relaxing but there's a certain uneasy dystopian relentlessness there too, not so much a sense of panic but of dormant malevolence. I reckon this is my favourite of the cuts here. The Tqa & YONL piece which follows has gently swelling, twinkly drones on it to ease you out of the record nicely. If you're into your moody, absorbing atmospheres then there's a whole LP of them here.
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