Tis the Season: Northumbria

Northumbria

Tomorrow I’ll be posting my favourite non-metal releases from 2014. That list will feature an assortment of gothic rock, noise, deathrock, drone, and a few more experimental releases. But before I publish that, I’m plucking drone duo Northumbria’s Bring Down the Sky from that list to highlight right here.

I want to shine a spotlight on Bring Down the Sky in advance because it’s, well, utterly exquisite. Northumbria features Toronto-based soundscapers Jim Field and Dorian Williamson, and their work on Bring Down the Sky is best described as somewhat akin to weaving of giant mantle-cracking aural tapestries. There’s a strong metal component to Northumbria, certainly in the band’s yawning guitar and bass drones. But while there are cavernous and uber-heavy depths to songs like “The Ocean Calls Us Home” and Bring Down the Sky’s gargantuan title track, songs like “Transcendence” and “Ostara” are as equally graceful and intimate.

Bring Down the Sky was one of 2014’s very best ambient and drone recordings, and the album was thoroughly deserving of the abundant praise it duly received last year. It’s therefore an honour for me to also be able to post Northumbria bassist Dorian Williamson’s favourite albums from 2014 below.

My thanks to Dorian, and cheers, as always, to you for reading

Dorian Williamson: 2014 Favourites

(1) The Body: I Shall Die Here (Rvng International)

(2) Marissa Nadler: July (Sacred Bones Records)

(3) Mare Cognitum: Phobos Monolith (I, Voidhangar)

(4) Nadja: Tangled (Broken Spine Productions)

(5) D. Burke Mahoney: Static Movements (Aetheric Records)

(6) Menace Ruine: Venus Armata (Profound Lore Records)

(7) Thisquietarmy & Noveller: Reveries (Shelter Press)

(8) Alkerdeel & Gnaw Their Tongues: Dyodyo Asema (ConSouling Sounds)

(9) Cryo Chamber: Cthulhu (Cryo Chamber)

(10) Skorneg: Foehn (Malignant Records)