Let’s get one thing straight from the get-go: I trvly don’t give a fuck about you, never have and never will. When I share something wonderful here, it’s because awesome Muppet is awesome, not because I want to improve your miserable lives; you deserve nothing and I hope you get less, yo. Accordingly, I write these TYMHM pieces not because *you* might have missed any gems I cover, but because *I* missed *my* chance to properly babble about them during the year. Now that the holidays are upon us and Steel‘s too nog’d out of his noggin to keep me in check, it’s high time I waxed reviewical on Damp Chill of Life, the best DSBM release ov ’19 that I never got to sling any words for.
Describing the music of NONE as DSBM is like calling
my ego Rogga Johansson‘s discography a tad sizeable. The enigmatic Oregonian act creates songs to bed the cold earth to, harvesting the corroded essence of a world dead and grey and manifesting the damp chill of life into something fittingly bleak, damp and dead. Warn your warmth to turn away, NONE will make your cold soul suffer and wither until you feel that life has gone on long enough, leaving you to desperately desiderate death and its sweet, hypoxic release. If such stark and somber stuff sounds too strong to sit through, then congrats, you did a good thing by missing this one. If you ARE n’t a little bitch a fan of this super sad scene and somehow slept on this, then congratulations to you, as well: you’re fucking up your whole life, yo.
As the album title, artwork and band name all suggest, Damp Chill of Life is utterly fvcking bleak. While artists like Déhà or Clouds create depressive music which embodies the dark, melancholic aspect of depression, NONE sonically encapsulates the sense of sheer cold lifelessness that becomes the world when you’re walking through it as a ghost. As is often the case with DSBM, there is an opportunity for catharsis within these icy tracks, and yet so is there the potential for danger. Where other acts often strive to embody the feeling of depression itself, Damp Chill of Life instead captures the essence of the world around the affected individual. It doesn’t so much summon the sentiment as it does the sound of the scenery seen through super sad stare-sockets, effectively bringing light and life around the listener to an end by painting an immersive sonic scene of all-encompassing bleakness: this thing doesn’t merely sound like misery, it sounds like fucking freezing to death.I can’t make someone who doesn’t understand depression understand why those of us that do often seek out such potentially weaponized fare as Damp Chill of Life, but I can make someone who understands atmoblack understand why it’s worth investigating.1 Aside from wielding top-notch and utterly convincing shrieks, NONE have a grasp on mournful riffs and rhythms that completely chokes the life out of their contemporaries. Their visual, visceral vvork values variety and (somewhat ironically) vitality, and things are never allowed to wallow in one spot for too long. Mind you, this is DSBM, so there’s plenty of tremolo waffling and a little obligatory lurching, but trvst me, if you’re into dark atmospheric black metal and aren’t afraid of the cold, you have no excuse for sleeping on Damp Chill of Life so long. Fix your life by fucking it right up, yo, let the existential misery of NONE put a smile on your face and a hole in your heart.
Tracks to Freeze to Death to: “The Damp Chill of Life,” “Cease,” “A Chance I’d Never Have.”