Review: North Atlantic Drift + Northumbria – Split

Northumbria + North Atlantic DriftNorth Atlantic Drift sound heartbroken beyond repair. As if acknowledging their irreversible decay into cold and loneliness, they wilt into death in the most beautiful manner possible. Synthesisers splay downward like melting stalactites, with minor thirds from bells splashing against stone like beads of glacial water; there is warmth and light winking from within the cold, and as reverb glides behind guitar strums like sunlight illuminating a cave, North Atlantic Drift dance in demonstration of the triumph within self-mourning. These are ballads of sorts, trudging to the sound of tired feet crunching through untouched snow; romancing the very landscape that gradually brings all life to a frozen full stop.

Northumbria pick it up from here, as the glamour of mortality vacates and the winds of eternal death assume its place. The first of their two pieces lays shadow where the light has been. Grey drones loom like concrete glaciers, swaying gently in the blizzard of cymbal wash and bitter white noise; emptiness yawns and starves itself in the black, drawing breaths of stagnant winter vacuum. Suddenly, a divine mirage: energy and colour creates themselves from within the immortal monochromy, as “Vanishing Point” fades up in ripples of guitar and synthesised sunlight. The major key – totally absent up until now – is pure rebirth, projecting hope in plectrum ribbons and then in fizzy azure jets. One gargantuan hole is made in the curtain of black.