Year Of No Light’s emotive instrumental approach is one that embraces the deeper, heavier side of post/sludge/atmospheric music and the cavernous melodies that they dredge up from the darkest pits of night are terrifying and weighty. The six strong French band boast two drummers amidst their ranks and on Tocsin here they utilise that strength to push the songs forward and drive them ever further into moments of sweet euphoria. Title track “Tocsin” is a massive and pummelling introduction to an album that is filled with contrasting passages. Where “Tocsin” punishes, “Géhenne” lifts and flies along on a speedy, almost ecstasy ravaged pace which is a sharp turnaround from the initial stages of the record.
Year Of No Light have long promised a record as well rounded and deeply engaging as this and with 2010s Ausserwelt they very nearly had it but with Tocsin, the band have stepped up more than you could even imagine. From the quiet, introspective waves of “Désolation” and its slow, steady build towards crunching devastation to the racing heart of “Stella Rectrix,” Tocsin is a flurry of emotions that swirl and combine to encapsulate the bare honesty of being human.
“Alamüt” weaves in patterns of solitude and burning and the opening stages counteract a fiery progression that constantly shifts and changes and pulls on the landscape of sound in order to create the peaks and troughs of the struggle of life. Year Of No Light create wondrous movements that pry at the soul and shimmer with the promise of hope leaving you fighting a personal battle of light against dark. Tocsin is a record of deep fascination and one that must be delved into often for its rewards are many and meaningful.
9.0 / 10
Ausserwelt is the sophomore album from Year Of No Light following up their excellent debut, Nord; and while this outfit took a bit of time in between the two records, evidently ...
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