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None - None

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 27 July 2017, 2:13 PM

There are Black Metal bands who are obscure, and choose to stay out of the spotlight with their names and identities unknown, and then there are Black Metal bands who are ever more obscure. This appears to be the case with NONE, the Portland, Oregon band who have released their eponymous debut here. On some level this can be poetic, as it means that just the music matters over everything else, and we’ve been through the overly conscious image periods of Metal music, ad nauseum. Hypnotic Dirge Records, a non-profit record label, presents this three-track album, with a simple and barren cover of an icy lake under grey skies, and brief and to-the-point aptly named song titles. This is what music is all about at its most basic level.

“Cold” is the first track. An opening three note piano melody leads to full instrumentation on that line. Just before the three-minute mark, traditional Black Metal screams join in. The sound is depressive and desolate. Though the meter remains steadily gradual, there are some chord changes that dig deeper and lower. The final two minutes roll from an ambient passage of acoustic guitar, flute and some effects to the final decadent push to sink the nails in your coffin. “Wither” also opens with piano and clean guitar notes, and a muffled voice carried in the wind. Vocals are once again distressful shrieks, calling out in desperation. The interlude harkens back to the beginning of the track, with delicate fingers on the ivories, before returning back to the madness. The final track is called “Suffer.” At over nine minutes, there is plenty of room for atmosphere, which the beginning embraces. But the vocals quickly remind you of the suffering the singer is portraying. The prominent bass guitar notes keep it grounded in deep despair. Another ambient piano interlude rears up and pushes some frailty into the remainder of the track, a pause from the pain that seems to last a lifetime.

Overwhelmingly depressing, like the loss of a loved one, “None” leaves you empty and numb. Don’t look for much else. For the mood it sets, it does a good job. It’s traditional in scope and you won’t find a lot of variation from track to track in terms of the pacing or the structure however. But this is nothingness well personified.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Cold
2. Wither
3. Suffer
No Known Members
Record Label: Hypnotic Dirge Records


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