Album Title: 
Songless Shores
Release Date: 
Friday, April 18, 2014
Review Type: 

Jumalhämärä have always been a band apart with their eccentric aural creations. I first heard about them by means of the 2010-full length Resignaatio (check out the review, posted in the Archive-section and updated on November 26th 2010), also released via current label Ahdistuksen Aihio Productions. Last year, they came with Resitaali, which was originally released on vinyl only. It will be released as digipak-CD edition, and since I am so kind to review it in order to celebrate this fantastic news, you can find the review concerned in just a couple of days on our beloved site…

Anyway, just like the former recordings, this newest piece once again differs completely from the past; and not at all too… This ‘not at all’ means that this mini-album too has the same weirdness and eeriness the band is known for. Songless Shores consists of one single track, having duration of 17:42 minutes. It opens rather ritualistic, with (Tibetan?) bells, joined shortly after by mysterious voices, before turning into an eclectic, mesmerizing piece of abyssal Drone / Black Metal (Oranssi Pazuzu might come to mind…). And all single details are pretty apart: the drum patterns are chopping, hooky and contrariness; the vocals deeply growling; and the guitars monotonous, very background-oriented yet hypnotic and droning. After about six minutes, thinks become calmer (for a while), with psychedelic and distant guitars and a monotonous organ, soon accompanied by a haunting choir (pretty short, yet undeniably interesting), before the composition turns into an even more distorted melody with organ and guitars. After ten - eleven minutes, Songless Shores becomes a creepy Industrial / Noise-piece with a mostly suffocative atmosphere (a mixture of Godflesh and Laibach might give a clue?). All right, little forward now, up to the last part, as from minute fifteen: keyboard (or organ?) lines in the vein of Resitaali spiced up by a great, somewhat mystic and classically-skilled choir, and the final half minute with vocal lines that can even not be defined…

I needed several listens before I thought I did understand, but I’m still not. But it does not matter, for I am truly willing to deepen into this album time after time. This is the kind of sonic journey that needs courage and patience, but listening to it is a reward itself. And you’ll notice that this record isn’t just an unstructured cacophony, but a well-thought piece of Aural Art. I am sure not many people will (be able to) fully enjoy this unusual material, but you must at least give it a try (or a couple of tries, I would recommend).