Year Of No Light
Image by Soile Siirtola
YONL versus “Vampyr”
YEAR OF NO LIGHT
Year Of No Light, 2011.
Performing “Vampyr” @ Roadburn Festival
Year of No Light Plays Vampyr
Air, KTL, and now Year of No Light: Three bands whose mastery of sound have brought them the luck of re-imagining film scores. Each one dealing with somewhat forgettable, but surely unique films, they breathe life into each film with their efforts. KTL’s loud, powerful drones matched the unadulterated melancholy of The Phantom Carriage. Air’s cutesy, romantic and ethereal grooves worked well with A Trip to the Moon’s comedic flare. Now, Year of No Light’s seamless binding of multiple instrumental genres match the nigh unintelligible plot and gloomy atmosphere of Vampyr. Year of No Light have mashed together the likes of Sludge and post-rock a la Mono and Mogwai to great benefit through three albums and multiple collaborations, even covers of dark pop songs of yore, adding their flare for the oppressive and heavy. The soundtrack they’ve created could easily stand alone as its own, very slow moving record. At just over an hour, it’s tight for a soundtrack, but Vampyr’s new soundtrack is one to behold. Three tracks are simply quiet drones and ambiance reminiscent in extreme of their work with Nadja, but the build is not in vain. the noise and dissonance climb into powerful tremolo and pounding drums that feel more like mountains that percussion. It’s up in the air whether the record will see a mix with the film itself, but as a direct companion to the silent film, the record may not hold up terribly well; it makes up for it with its dynamic that works as a crutch for the label of soundtrack. at the half way point, the songs begin to meld together into introductions, “verses” and climaxes self contained. Listening on anything but vinyl or some other gapless manner (the record is advertised as something that should be played, more than once in one sitting, on a loop) could prove disorientating, or at least cheapening to the music itself. Malédiction, a track deserving of note, plays with the emulation of piano as strings and works very well to create an atmosphere through soundscapes, which is what a score should rightly do, but as it slowly grows, it plays out just as well as a metal song in its own right. Piano slowly becomes a focal point, and the line between classical and metallic is blurred to great effect, taking one back not to the timeline of the film, but farther, to the time of the medieval and chivalrous. Things take a turn for the intense, however as the music swirls and crescendos in classic post-rock fashion before the music ends and fades abruptly in not even a song’s time. If over-creation of atmosphere is a problem, then A Year of No Light Plays Vampyr is a failure.
Chronique Year Of No Light - Vampyr : J