Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2020
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Going Out With A Whimper - 100%

TheParadox, June 29th, 2020
Written based on this version: 2019, Digital, Hypnotic Dirge Records

This release by None is genuinely my favourite black metal album of all time. I definitely prefer the moody stuff over the tremolo picking, blastbeat... er... blasting (?) style of the perhaps more "classic" second-wave / second-wave inspired bands, although I like many of them as well. And oh boy, let me tell you, "Damp Chill Of Life" is moody as fuck. Completely dark and bleak. And, above all else, it's sad. And while sadness as a concept is pretty common in black metal in general (especially, of course, when looking at DSBM in particular), None have a way of evoking a sense of complete and utter despair. And it's not a scream-at-the-top-of-your-lungs despair, its a huddle-in-a-corner-and-die-alone despair.

That's probably the most outstanding thing about this album. Yes, of course, you do have your screaming and yelling (and crying), but none of it evokes a sense of anger or of any confrontational feelings at all; it feels like complete surrender. There's no sense of that one last hurrah telling the world to go fuck itself. It just feels like you're in the mind of someone completely done even trying to put up a fight, just slogging painfully through life, waiting for it to end, almost completely passively. The guitars have this super thick tone to them, which really helps with the atmosphere. Other times, the album slows down ("Fade", "I Yearn To Feel") and hits you with really emotional melodies instead. An other black metal act that comes more-or-less close to evoking the same sentiments to this is Deadlife, but even his songs seem to have infinitely more life to them than None's tracks. I really, really, don't know how they managed to make a fantastic emotional masterpiece like this feel so lifeless, in the best possible way, but they did it.

On top of that, of course, the music itself is really good. They perfectly execute the above-mentioned mood of complete surrender, but do so in an incredibly pleasing way as well. I find that black metal often kind of gets up its own ass and fucks up a well executed mood by having songs go on forever without change. Again, we can look to Deadlife for comparison's sake; "A Moment Of Silence" has great atmosphere, but goes on for 17 god damn minutes with little to no changes in the music. "Damp Chill Of Life" does not have this issue in the slightest. The ups and downs allow for the music to remain compelling the whole way through. From the buzzing riffs of the title track, to the fading piano outro of "A Chance I'd Never Have" and everything in between, "Damp Chill Of Life" offers only the highest quality depression in musical form.

In conclusion, "Damp Chill Of Life" is, in my opinion, a perfectly crafted black metal masterpiece that focuses purely on making you feel the emotions of someone completely done with life, and who has nothing left to give, ready to go out with a whimper. I cannot wait for their 2021 effort, considering that they've only gotten better with each release. Here's hoping they manage to continue that trend!