Nonsun - Blood and Spirit

11 Apr 2022 - Simon

post metal, dark ambient, drone, sludge | dunk!Records | Release date: 15 Apr 2022

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Nonsun have crafted an elegant hypothesis of the nature of suffering. It’s beguiling, claustrophobic and at times also beautiful.

Nonsun are a Ukrainian band from Kyiv. The album was written between 2017 and 2020, before the current atrocities started, which makes the album and its themes almost prophetic in their symbology, but I’m getting ahead of myself here. The album was written as a statement on living through the bloodiest of times and to question the adage ‘that which does not kill you makes you stronger’. Now I’m not sure that even in the band’s worst nightmares could they have foreseen that they would find themselves in this most horrific of situations and ponder this very question of having to live through the unimaginable horrors which they now find themselves in. Far be it for me to try and make sense of that most tricky of questions, all I can do is try and review this album for what it is, which is a brilliant piece of music.

It’s a melting pot of drone, sludge and doom which is impressively measured and thought through. This album showcases a natural progression from their previous album which was one single piece of music divided into 6 suites. This album is technically more defined in terms of demarcation, although whilst the songs are all individual and distinct enough to be called separate songs, there is a wonderful feeling of continuity to this album which means even the song transitions are seamlessly done and create a stunning sense of flow.

There is a glorious sense of purpose to this record which shines through over the course of its runtime. From the first note of standout track (and gloriously monikered “A Wizard Grieving Over the Loss of Magic”) to the last, all the way through, it is beautifully paced with the ever-important peaks and troughs we all associate with the genre that the band fits in, nothing seems forced or rushed, it’s as if the sounds are exactly and precisely placed where the band wanted them to be.

It is also at times, a surprisingly elegant album, shimmering with a clarity which rings out like a beacon of light piercing the darkness from whence it came. It must also be noted that although it’s listed as an instrumental album, there are guttural vocal rumblings buried in the mix which add an almost frightening element to the sound. It’s this brilliant ability to mix the light and dark, the dirty and the angelic which makes this album so alluring.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this album, please support these guys, not just because they are in an incredible shitty situation but because, much more importantly, the music is utterly brilliant.