For those of us who live in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, the damp forests and snow-covered mountains are ever-present. Even when they’re not in the forefront of your mind, they loom in the distance. To be in the midst of them, particularly in the winter when mist and fog blur their hard lines and the cold eats into the skin, is both an awe-inspiring and a haunting experience… and a relief. In the midst of that communion you can think, “at least we haven’t fucked this up yet.”
Many musicians who’ve spent time in the PNW are drawn to capture such sensations, or they draw inspiration from them (though of course many are just as prone to make the kind of forgettable music you can hear on the radio any damned place). Some are more successful than others in channeling the gloom, the grandeur, and the isolation of these ancient places that are heedless of our own fleeting presence yet can lend us their strength, or pronounce their condemnation. The Oregon group NONE do that very, very well.
The band’s self-titled debut album came out last year. It made its way onto the year-end list of NCS contributor Grant Skelton, who explained its placement there in these words:
“I blame the album art for drawing me onto this one. My eyes took in the depicted glacial tomb and I yearned to be there. The music helped to satisfy that yearning. The part of the US where I live has weird winters. It can get cold, but it rarely gets cold and stays that way for the entire season. Albums like this one take me to a place where the silvery blankets of winter never melt. Bleakness is beautiful, friends, and None’s self-titled album proves that.”
Thankfully, we have not had to wait long to discover where NONE will lead us next. Their new album, Life has gone on long enough, will be released by Hypnotic Dirge Records on April 11, and today we bring you one of the new songs — “Corroded” — along with a music video that beautifully suits the music.
“Corroded” has a minimalist feeling, and in part for that very reason it is spell-binding. Slow, haunting, and hypnotic, it mixes ethereal, shimmering ambient tones, deep bass notes, craggy chords, and primal drum booms. Soft, spectral melodies reverberate from the strings, coaxing wistfulness and regret from their hiding places. Shrouds of ominous sound move forward and dissipate, like the remembrance — or foreshadowing — of calamity. Strange voices can be heard in the distance of this shadowed place that the music reveals.
“Corroded” is one of the more chilling, forlorn, and atmospheric passages on the new album. Yet entwined with such movements are more harsh and harrowing experiences that, in the label’s words, move in and out “like the long shadows of an ancient forest”. You can get a taste of that in the first song revealed from the new album, “Bed the cold earth“, which premiered at Invisible Oranges and which we’ve also installed below, along with our own premiere of “Corroded“.
The beautiful video that accompanies “Corroded” was shot by the band in the mountains of Oregon.
The album will be released digitally, and also presented in a 6-panel digipack featuring panoramic photography. Hypnotic Dirge recommends Life has gone on long enough for fans of Woods of Desolation, Coldworld, Shining, Gris, and Sombres Forêts.