From: Dead Rheteric
Published: March 6, 2019
Everyone’s favorite caveat to ‘atmospheric black metal’: depressive black metal.
I stumbled onto NONE thanks to their first album, 2017’s self-titled NONE, largely thanks to its album cover: a fog-drenched and snowed-over oblivion, presumably somewhere in the Pacific Northwest (the band hails from Portland, Oregon). Its three tracks are a dense foray into the miserable, a proper sonic accompaniment to the album’s cover art. I found out not long after from the label that a follow up was not only in the works but would see the light of day soon.
Enter Life Has Gone On Long Enough.
In truth I missed the album release at first and several months went by before it hit my radar. Having separated from almost every form of social media, while I still keep abreast of most things, others will occasionally slip through the cracks. This album was one such victim. So it was on a humid, sticky August afternoon that I re-stumbled upon the band and thought to myself “oh god!”. Once again a stark image from likely somewhere in the remote regions of the Pacific Northwest invite the eyes to soak in misery and isolation. Life Has Gone On Long Enough embodies that isolation without fail.
Much like the self-titled, the pace here is dirge-like. Synth remains an integral part of the experience but without being kitschy, the atmosphere here is frequently suffocating. A look at the song titles tells you exactly what you’re in for: “A World, Dead and Gray”, “Life Is Long Enough”, and “Hypoxic”. This album is the sound of a funeral a week before Christmas, a barren landscape within and without its participants. It isn’t always sonically heavy nor does it always need to be. The ‘softer’ elements are no less emotionally throttling without oceans of distortion around them.
There is no pretense and there are also no real slivers of light to pierce the gray: Life Has Gone On Long Enough is the definition of mood music. It will not fit all seasons or situations and is best approached when it can be appreciated.
Unlike a great many depressive black albums of old, the sound here is robust. Everything is audible and everything carries weight. Unsurprisingly, vocals are a key part of the experience here, particularly on “Bed The Cold Earth” and “Desiderate”, the latter of which is outright devastating in its second half. Closing out the album is a cover of Burzum’s “Illa Tiðandi”. While lifted from a maligned era of the Burzum canon, thematically it fits right in and ends a bleak experience with a bleaker sense of finality. It’s fitting.
Following this up (and again I was behind the curve) was the release of the ‘single’ “Where Life Should Be…”. Composed of all of the same blocks that make up all of the Life Has Gone On Long Enough experience, it adds a couple new ones: the expression of panic and anxiety through blast beats.
Shocking not for how well it works but in that it finally made an appearance within NONE’s work. Hopefully it’s indicative of where things are going forward. “Where Life Should Be…” is dynamic in ways that Life Has Gone On Long Enough doesn’t often touch upon.
Reviewed by: Matthew Bowling
Posted by Nick Skog. Posted In : English