Originally self-released and super-limited in quantity on CD, this is the official, Vulpiano Records digital release of Natural Snow Buildings’ The Night Country. The Night Country has been one of my personal favorite recent Natural Snow Buildings releases so I am very pleased Mehdi and Solange have made it available through Vulpiano.
"No Light Pollution" comes on gradually, a spooky tunnel of sound. providing glimpses of what’s to come. Songs like "Weird Meetings at teh Water Castle" and "You’ll Become What You Fear the Most" are shimmering and richly textured. We go into the light for a brief moment in the vocal tracks "Where Your Body Split", "Where Your Body Split" and "Eli’s Song", though there is a harrowing ambivalence in “Rusty Knives Valley”. The cover and insert art is recalled when hearing the spiraling, droney “Season of the Slasher” conjuring up images easily of a scary, mystical world.
The title track is resplendent with the dark beauty you have come to expect and treasure from NSB. “Sister Ritual” has the chilling touch that recalls elements of previous release Daughter of Darkness. “Sandman Traps”, another vocal track, is a good follow-up to this and another illustration of the group’s mastering of alternating the hopeful and the haunted. The album closes with “Gothic Suburbia”, more peaceful than most of the earlier instrumental tracks, still spacious and gorgeous.
The Night Country is all in all an outstanding entry in the Natural Snow Buildings discography and a good introduction to the band for those who are a bit intimidated by the band’s longer releases without missing out on any of the key ingredients.