Ukrainian outfit NONSUN presents a deluxe, revamped version of their acclaimed Black Snow Desert, the album out now on multiple physical formats.
Initially digitally self-released in January 2016, Black Snow Desert received critical acclaim from a wide range of publications and diehard fans of the drone, post-rock, experimental, and doom scenes. Two years later, NONSUN has entrusted the help of Belgian label Dunk!Records and American label Cimmerian Shade Recordings to release a revamped version of the album.
Mixed by Jannes van Rossom from Deaftone Studio and mastered by Tobias Stieler, the Black Snow Desert – 2018 Edition has been edited, remixed, remastered, and updated with new artwork by former Southern Lord art director Samantha Muljat (Earth, Goatsnake, Pelican, Today Is The Day).
NONSUN offers of Black Snow Desert, “It’s not an ordinary album. It’s a journey. A long and hard trip. With a heavy heart and longing spirit. But those patient and open-minded will eventually be rewarded. It’s the music from behind the wall of sleep. And it doesn’t matter on which side you are while listening to it.”
The Lviv, Ukraine act NONSUN clearly excels at living up to their disquieting moniker, carefully representing the sound of a world without light. Their seamless blend of sludge, drone, doom, stoner and post-metal crafts the soundtrack to despairing resignation. They inhabit a world vacated by both God and the Devil, where the souls who remain worship at the altar of a living, thriving sorrow; yet against the odds there is a spellbinding beauty that follows this willful abandonment of hope.
From the yawning chasm of album opener “No Pity For The Beast, No Shelter For The Innocent” to the swirling cacophonies of “Rest Of Tragedy,” Black Snow Desert is a challenging and richly layered sermon on the many faces of sadness and regret. It bares sharp teeth, but within an inviting grin that convinces the listener to subject themselves to whatever suffering it may be that enthralls and beckons them continuously closer to the abyss therein. As with the most difficult trials, the rewards are hard-won and multitudinous. Slow and measured as its painstaking unfolding may be, there remains a breathless sense of purpose, an aching to reveal to the listener sights and sounds they never knew they yearned to witness.
Samantha Muljat’s album art brilliantly captures the NONSUN aesthetic – dark and unforgiving, Black Snow Desert also holds promise of an intoxicating mysticism, pulling the listener further along its foreboding, sinuous pathways, eroding apprehension moment by moment as one draws closer toward the ever-dawning realization of the journey’s enchanting power. With this release, NONSUN has deftly surveyed the extraordinary endeavor of conquering fear, sadness, and the overwhelming darkness by immersing oneself within the eye of its storm.
Cvlt Nation’s glowing review offers in part, “This album is just as much about the notes they don’t play as the ones they do. It’s the negative space that leaves the hollow longing, rather than the dense distortion bringing on waves of overwhelming despair. While this would appeal to fans of both atmospheric doom and post-rock, if you want to dig yourself a deeper grave to wallow in, well, there are plenty of doom bands that will be happy to oblige. But if you are looking to contemplate your downward spiral in a more hopeful manner, than this is going to be the soundtrack for you.” The extensive review by Echoes And Dust includes, “Given the leap they’ve made from their earlier recordings to this it’s safe to assume their instincts for self-editing will develop. Black Snow Desert is a fascinating and occasionally arresting set of studies in tone and weight that is a fine work in its own right, as well as one that suggests NONSUN are only going get better with time.”
Metal Bandcamp praised, “The sounds contained often fit the album’s title: dark, cold and empty. Songs build slowly, and often plod to their crescendo. There’s no shortage of scraping, screaming and crashing sounds. But after those crashes, the sonic landscape often shifts, and moments of pure, shimmering beauty emerge.” The Sludgelord delivers, ” In an effect that sounds like a mix between drone lords, Sunn O))), experimental duo, Nadja, and some hint of a Mogwai style post-rock, the tracks simply blend into a single all-encompassing dark mass that surrounds you, filling empty space until it consumes you entirely. And you welcome it.”
1. No Pity for the Beast, No Shelter for the Innocent
2. Ashes of Light, Demons of Justice
3. Peace of Decay, Joy of Collapse
4. Heart’s Heavy Burden
5. Observing the Absurd
6. Rest of Tragedy