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Year of No Light

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Album Review

Year of No Light's four-year reticence to record a sophomore album came to a resounding conclusion with 2010's Ausserwelt — an effort of seismic repercussions that says so much without uttering a single word. That's because, as opposed to the group's 2006 debut, Nord, Ausserwelt is a fully instrumental work; yet the range of sounds, visions, and emotions it manages to evoke in spite of this are nothing short of breathtaking. Forget the obvious inspirational post-metal launching pads that gave this band their start — Neurosis, Isis, et al — along with the many important instrumental architects competing in this space — Pelican, Red Sparowes, etc. — because Year of No Light have arguably established their own aesthetic "lane" with this release, and it's fair to say the wait was worth every minute. In the simplest possible terms, it all comes down to layering, layering, layering, which the French sextet applies with abandon to these four epic-length trance-metal movements, through the efforts of three guitarists, two drummers, and untold synth/electronic multi-tasking, resulting in an unusually lush tableau of swirling psychedelics, mesmerizing drones, and earth-shattering climaxes (and, notably, hardly a sign of the hardcore underpinnings shared by their American counterparts). It's no exaggeration to say that Ausserwelt‘s two-part, 20-minute opening sonic excursion "Perséphone," is everything you could expect from a piece of music dedicated to the queen of the underworld in Greek mythology. And there's hardly any letdown in the protracted evolutions and ultimate crescendo of "Hiérophante," which along with the alternately comforting and nerve-wracking shrillness of album closer "Abbesse," even features spots of black metal blastbeats among the added surprises. In short: what we have here is a musical smorgasbord for the senses of the highest order, and proof that there may yet be a post- in post-metal as the ‘10s unfold.

Customer Reviews


You know there are about 400 bands trying to do the whole epic post rock thing. From the cleaner stuff of Explosions In The Sky to the heavier bands like Caspian and whatnot. Year Of No Light have always been far and away better than these bands but suffered from poor production and engineering. Ausserwelt finally shows the bands enormous sound on record. If I see a single comment about 3 of these tracks being "album only" i'm going to lose it. If you're dumb enough to be on the fence about this record and believe a single or a 30 second snippet will do it justice then please go die. This is wonderful.

read the review below

I won't even bother with a review. The reviewer below hit it on the head. Read the review, buy the album, make sure you have good headphones, have 3 to 5 beers, enjoy, and repeat as necessary.

Savagely Beautiful

I discovered YONL completely by accident while researching Mum on iTunes and venturing out a bit. Even with the allowed 30-90 second samples I had to have this release immediately and downloaded. The result on 1st listen left me in an excited state of shock. I'm not intimately familiar with this genre but Ausserwelt is very special. The only way to listen to this is at very loud volume. If there are any others present that can't commit to this then wait for them to leave the listening environment. All those that will be present should be expected to refrain from any attempted conversation for the duration of the recording. I would even go as far as to suggest blindfolds. This is the 1st recording in which I craved to hear again almost immediately after it was finished.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The trance-rock/post-metal band, Year of No Light, hails from Bordeaux, France, where it was formed in the summer of 2001, and then slowly fermented both on-stage and in rehearsal before recording its first demo tape in 2004. This earned the group a reputation for sounding like "The Cure playing sludge," and opened the door for bandmembers Julien Perez (vocals, keyboards), Pierre Anouilh (guitar), Jérôme Alban (guitar, keyboards) Johan Sebenne (bass, electronics), Bertrand Sebenne (drums, keyboards),...
Full Bio
Ausserwelt, Year of No Light
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Customer Ratings

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