Year Of No Light Ausserwelt

Year Of No Light Ausserwelt
Only the second release from this ultra-talented French band, Ausserwelt could be Year of No Light's finest hour. To top 2007's mind-blowingly heavy Nord is quite a feat, and the group's line-up change is at least partially responsible for spawning new synergy. Take singer Julien Perez out of the equation, but add third guitarist Shiran Kaidine (of French avant-doom act Monarch!) and second drummer Mathieu Mégemont (from electro-metal band Aerôflôt), and you have assembled a noise team that will simultaneously explore the lofty heavens while gutting the earthy depths ― all without vocals. Twenty-minute behemoth "Perséphone" is divided into two halves to demonstrate the dichotomy of said maiden from Greek mythology. The first part, the more ambient of the two, raises Pelican standards by the sheer number of instruments while chronicling Persephone's idyllic life above ground during the spring and summer. The second part is darker and less hopeful, with Transmission0-ish tribal rhythms as the backdrop for her seasonal servitude to Hades. The majestic chords of "Hiérophante" build to a thrilling climax, but "Abbesse" is where the dual drummers make real headway: while one is plodding up a Sisyphean hill with Mindrot-esque progressions, the other is blasting his way, black metal-style, through the syrupy haze. Like West Virginia's Hyatari, Year of No Light play atmospheric doom like it's their last day on Earth, and Ausserwelt is the key to their ascension. (Conspiracy)