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Northumbria – Bring Down The Sky

Consouling Sounds

Northumbria – Bring Down The SkyUsing only bass, guitar and slew of effects, Dorian Williamson and Jim Field‘s second release as Northumbria starts as it intends to finish, declaring at the outset that it is time to soar and glide. It seems to be just about fuzz o’clock as far as the guitar is concerned, and while the bass is set to Northumbrian winter time, its low-end rumbles are equally content to give direction to the pedals which set its deep heart a-coruscating.

Textural more than tuneful for the most part, Bring Down The Sky sets out to cover its allotted ground with a comprehensive blanket of sound, sweeping across the frequency spectrum with an implacable determination to fill space and overcome time. While the bright chimes and searing, controlled feedback from the guitar is frequently piercing in the penetration it achieves, the bass really needs a good set of speakers and a decent amount of volume to appreciate its depth and resonance. Playing this album on laptop speakers from low-resolution MP3s is not going to do it any favours, for example; and so many subtleties could be lost without nudging the levels just that little bit higher, even on headphones.

While the outlook may be rather bleak in many ways, the results are more often reflective and uplifting. It’s worth recalling that the word ‘doom’ derives from ‘fate,’ to which end there is not so much a feeling of gloom or melancholy here as a powerful sense of yearning, even wonder, expressed by Williamson and Field through the slow-burning interplay of the two guitars and their modifying devices.

-Antron S Meister-

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