What I got here is a split 36-minute sonic canvas featuring music by the Toronto-based ambient metal duo Northumbria (aka Dorian Williamson and Andy Field) and the project North Atlantic Drift (Mike Abercrombie & Brad Deschamps).
From the look and feel, the recording could be one fitting into the icy conditions-roster of the Italian Glacial Movements label, but it’s not. Besides that, it features ambient-guitar driven music.
North Atlantic Drift opens the release with a set of four moody pieces, about 17 minutes in total, where a slight desolate feel and melancholic veil shimmers through the elegantly morphing, rather tuneful, lighter-shaded atmospheres with occasional beats or a distortive edge. Above all, things are at ease here.
And then it’s time for something different, as Northumbria hints for a grittier, grainier and industrial-oriented form of shoegaze-inflicted ambient, all created with processed guitar, synths and heavily treated percussion. As such, the duo delivers two intense dronescapes in broadening, long-form fashion, that turns out straight apocalyptic, destructive and foreboding on the glooming, overtly dark “Cold Wind Rising”. This rather alarming and frightening track with an outburst of primordial vents is not for the faint of heart. As such, it bears resemblance with some releases on the US –based Malignant label. Fortunately, the hellish and dense realm settles down on the much calmer yet spherical ambient-guitar musings of “Vanishing Storm”, despite the harsh sound kicking in on the second half.
All-in all, this is for all listeners who like to explore harsh environs where the inhospitable, windswept elements are transformed into ambient sound experiments.