Andrew from the band was kind enough to drop me a couple of CDs through the mail, including one from his former band (Northwail) so I’d have an idea of how Deconstructing Sequence began.
Brief history: Northwail started up in Poland in 2001. They released a couple of EPs and two albums. In 2011, they hit a musical brick wall and the band split up. However, two of the members decided they wanted to move in a new direction together – also involving a geographic shift to Zoider Kuntry (a.k.a. Taunton, Zummerz… I mean Somerset) in the UK.
Having listened to Northwail’s Cold Season, you can get a sense of where they were progressing and the diverse sounds in the mix. Predominantly a black metal sound with occasional flurries of prog (and the long running time for songs which goes with the latter), it’s hard, heavy and very good.
The cloudy cider complete with brewer’s toenails will be helping the transition to Deconstructing Sequence, though. This new outing is very much more prog, but more completely – quoting their facefart page – “Black / Death / Progressive / Avant- Garde“. Which is novel.
Overall, the sound is a little less thrashy. There is still a heavy black metal influence, mainly around the vocal style and the keyboards. Death metal infuses the guitars and drums. Tempo changes, long songs and the storytelling style throw up the progressive stylings. The fact that the whole mixture doesn’t sound like white noise fulfils the avant-garde side of things. This is boundary-breaking stuff.
It sounds like a hodge-podge that shouldn’t really work, but like Shining (NO)’s jazz/metal fusion, it actually does.
While it might not satisfy fans of each genre completely, it crosses so many borders that it could be the band that gets, say, death metal fans to check out a bit of prog. Or prog fans to open their ears to the heavier styles.
I am not a prog fan. I’ve mentioned this enough times on here. But there’s enough non-prog to listen to in the three tracks on Year One that I don’t notice the more progressive elements as much as I would on a pure prog album. This, to me, is a good thing.
Below is the second track from the album: “Enmazed in White Heavenly Stronghold of the Cyberangel”. I told you they’d been at the cider. I prefer it to the first track, which is the only other available on YouTube.
While being a pretty new style compared to most, there are enough familiar sounds here to make it worthwhile listening to if you like any of the styles they’ve mixed into this insane melting pot. You never know, you could be surprised.