Northumbria – Hellulan

Rating: 5/5
Distributor/Label: Cryo Chamber
Distributor / Label URL: https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/
Released: 2015
Buy Album: https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/helluland
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Northumbria/346750775343604

NorthumbriaBand members

Jim Field
Dorian Williamson

Tracklisting:

1. Because I am Flawed I Forgive You
2. Still Waters
3. Sacred Ground
4. Maelstrom
5. A Door Made of Light Part I
6. A Door Made of Light Part II
7. Song For Freyja
8. Catch A Knife Part I
9. Helluland
10. Catch A Knife Part II

Review

Every once and a while an album comes out that defies classification. No matter how hard you may try to dissect its body and examine its core, something eludes you each time. Such is the case with the Toronto duo Northumbria, and their record Helluland; an album that feels more like a movement of sound than an actual album of songs.

‘Because I am Flawed I Forgive You’ unveils with a shimmering array of ambient tones and guitar led melodies. The aural landscapes traverse throughout the eight minute journey as the imagery conjures in your mind, as you lose all sense of time.

The band’s atmospheric voyages into the unknown are vast and expansive. From the rich textures of ‘Sacred Ground’ to the lush delicacies of ‘Song For Freyja’ which provides an otherworldly glance into the unknown.

Personal favourites, ‘A Door Made of Light Part I’ and ‘A Door Made of Light Part II’ is where Northumbria’s sound comes into full bloom. The cinematic scope of these two pieces could easily stand alone as being worthy of a movie soundtrack.

Meanwhile, the album’s title track ‘Helland’, has a slightly more tense sounding climate. The dark brooding visuals that sweep through your mind’s eye are enough to make you forget your material surroundings and enter into a transcendental plain.

These guys are regarded as ambient metal, although to write these guys off with that tag is a grave error. Instead, Northumbria offers up an immersive experience that will ultimately pull you out of yourself, make your body feel weightless and cleanse the very essence of who you are.

Review by Ben Spencer
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