Exclusive Track Premiere: Norse – “Cylic”
Way back in early 2015, I entreated you fine feathered Toilet folk to take a trip to Australia with me to witness the deadly dissonance of Norse. In our third ever edition of Mini-Reviews, I described Norse’s then current EP Pest as “a hyper-caffeinated cup of sinister black metal laced with multiple shots of dissonant espresso and strained through a used, bloody filter.” Today I have the distinct pleasure of giving you a second shot of the oily poison with “Cylic,” an exclusive track from Norse’s upcoming full-length The Divine Light of a New Sun.
Although you’ll typically see Norse described as “dissonant black metal,” that’s really only partially true. Like Imperial Triumphant, another skronky band commonly (and somewhat dubiously) placed within the black metal canon, Norse play a pneumatic and mechanical perversion of extreme metal that truthfully draws equally from both death metal and black metal. Pest featured a healthy smattering of blast beats, but the riffs were as tributary to the cavernous death metal fauna endemic to Australia (think Portal, Aethyrvorous, Miserist, etc.) as they were to more outré black metal acts like Wolok or Gergovia. By synthesizing all these various influences, Norse had concocted a nasty little EP as offputting as it was captivating.
If “Cylic” is any indication, The Divine Light of a New Sun seems to have taken that warped blueprint and gotten even weirder with it. While the trademark machinist percussion remains intact, “Cylic” throws us a curveball right from the start with its palpable, smothering bass sound. It swells and hammers like something out of a Godflesh or Old Lady Drivers song, equally out-of-place but intriguing. As soon as those snarling vocals and bouncy riffs join in, however, we’re reminded that this is still Norse, though a weightier, more tactile version of the band. “Cylic” still delivers all those gnarly, disorienting riffs and that ugly atmosphere that made the band clear contenders within the ravenous Australian cavernous ecosystem. The fact that “Cylic” does all this while delivering an absolutely massive sound and a surprisingly catchy headbangability reminiscent of Pestilence at their weirdest only speaks to this band’s skill and growth in the intermittent years between Pest and The Divine Light of a New Sun. Just try not to want to wreck your cubicle when that final bass swell and double-bass line slams at the 3:07 mark.
The Divine Light of a New Sun drops on May 25th. You can pre-order it on Bandcamp via Transcending Obscurity. While you’re there, check out another new track called “Drowned by Hope.” If you’re digging what Norse are putting down, swing by Facebook and tell them, “Oi, let’s get maggoted on some tinnies, you right cobbers.”