We’ve thrown an unusually large number of recommended songs, videos, and releases your way today, but we’re still not finished. In this post you’ll find a review and a music stream of an EP I recently discovered that made quite a strong impression. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
Numenorean from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, began as a two-man project in late 2011, with Byron Lemley recording and writing all the songs and Brandon Lemley providing the vocals. With additional vocal assistance from Aidan Crossley on one song, the band released a two-song demo in June 2014 totaling almost 20 minutes of music, and I listened to it yesterday.
And why did I listen to it? Because an e-mail from the band used references to Agalloch, old Alcest, and Falls of Rauros to describe the style of their music. I reacted to those references much like Pavlov’s dog at the bell: I started salivating. And then I listened to the first of the two tracks, “Let me In”.
photo by Bailey Lee Doucette
I was captivated from the first moments by the reverberating solo guitar melody and continued to be carried away by the song as it evolved, moving through soft passages of sorrowful meditation and powerful waves of riffs coming down like sheets of rain, and concluding with the strumming of an acoustic guitar. As in the instrumental music, the vocals display a duality, varying between wistful clean singing and truly ravaging harsh growls. It’s a beautiful song that conveys (at least to me) a mood of longing and even heart-ache, but packs such a potent punch that it never feels maudlin.
The second song, “Follow the Sun”, is even longer, but it too is dramatic and emotionally gripping, right from the start. The lush, rippling guitar melodies, although saturated with melancholy, exert a strong hold on the memory, and the harsh vocals are again devastatingly powerful. The song weaves together elements of doom and post-black metal to wonderful effect, and the acoustic accents are well-placed and well-executed.
Those references to Agalloch, old Alcest, and Falls of Rauros turn out to be well-chosen. Numenorean are indeed playing in a similar space, and I’ll be surprised if fans of bands such as those don’t enjoy this immensely, as I have. The demo is a very strong first outing and a convincing reason to watch this band closely.
Numenorean estimate that their first full-length will be ready for release by early 2015, and they’ve also started playing shows, having recruited allies for a live line-up. The 2014 self-titled demo is available on Bandcamp as a “name your own price” download, or on CD from Filth Regime Records. Listen below. I think you’ll be glad you did.