REVIEW: Norilsk ‘Japetus’ (EP)


Released August 2014

This three-song EP from Quebec’s Norilsk is inspired by vintage doom/death such as Thergothon, with added elements of sludge and post metal. Named after Siberia’s northernmost city, this release covers themes of isolation and lost identity.

It moves at a slow, patient pace, with solid production allowing a good balance of searing, heavy-ish guitars that alternately fester and explode, dynamic bass that weaves a spell, and drums that both attack and complement.

There are two original compositions on offer, either side of a cover of Voivod’s ‘Negatron’. The opening title track is a fairly elegant example of doom/death with dark, black vocals, and an industrial undercurrent. There is a hint or two of Isis or Neurosis amid the expansive, chilly atmosphere.

Norilsk’s other creation, the strangely titled ‘Potsdam Glo’, is a stark, bleak and confident track that showcases more vocal dexterity from the multi-talented Nicolas Miquelon, as well as a greater degree of musical adventure. With cleaner vocals and elements of My Dying Bride, the song is more sophisticated than complex, and there is a clear sense of a band (Nick Richaer handles drum duties, while Miquelon does the rest) that is looking to explore boundaries. And they are very capable of going to interesting places.

The duo’s penchant for the unusual shows in the choice of their fellow Canadians’  ‘Negatron’, which is a great song but hardly a Voivod classic. Norilsk give it a doomy treatment, and their personality glows through the gloom. This EP is 20 minutes of energetic apocalypse – keep your ears open the the forthcoming full-length release.


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