100 Bands in 100 Days Presented by Verity Credit Union — Day 85: Norska

Please check out Verity Credit Union, our great partner in the 100 Bands in 100 Days local music showcase.

Artwork by Seattle-area painter E.R. Saba

Music fans of the Pacific Northwest, get ready for our fourth annual year-end daily local music showcase, 100 Bands in 100 Days, where every day until December 31st, we’re showcasing a new band or artist you have to know about, presented by Verity Credit Union. Make sure you are checking the #100Bands100Days hashtag at Twitter on the daily to stay on top of all the bands featured and make sure to follow Verity on Twitter and NW_Music_Scene as well. Some days the featured act could be an established and locally-adored northwest-based musician and other times they could be a band with a small following that just hasn’t had their deserved time in the sun yet. Either way, we’re fairly confident you can come away from this daily segment with plenty of new favorites. Today’s featured artist is Norska.

 

Back in June of this year we reviewed the latest album by Portland’s purveyors of the sludge and doom, NORSKA. If you prefer your music to come at you with the intensity of getting hit in the back of the neck with a baseball bat, today’s band is definitely for you.

Here’s some of what we said about the album in our review:


Norska’s sound is an amalgam of all things heavy. Not exclusively _______ metal (you fill in the populist adjective), Norska is the volcano blowing shit high into the clouds. They’re the pounding tidal waves swallowing up ships and pissing off sea creatures which need to surface for air. Norska’s affinity for thunderous rock blows past whatever indie rock your co-workers blab about. Too Many Winters is the (metal) album your older brother wishes he’d discovered first.

It’s been five years since Norska’s self-titled album confirmed the attention was appropriate (not just the assumption that the inclusion of members from YOB deemed it such), yet Too Many Winters wastes no time thrusting metal-tinged brilliance from hell’s reservoir. “Samhain” rips this beast open with a warm, melodic bass chug before slashing into a densely aggressive guitar attack with insanely combative drums. The staccato breaks and doubled up vocals showcase attention to dynamics and Norska’s sixth sense in making tight, heavy music sound majestic. “Eostre” is dangerously faster and impossible to air guitar or drum to. Clocking in at less than three minutes doesn’t mean the initial kick to gut will heal sooner.

“Too Many Winters” sets singer Jim Lowder’s torched vocals smack dab in front. He sings/growls along a blitzkrieg of might and ruin, which releases gently, into a unison chant before a suspended period of ramp-ups and maleficence. “Too Many Winters” emanate streaks of light to guide you through a moonless night, but only after torching your wagon ride home.


(Too Many Winters is available for purchase digitally or on silver/black vinyl at norska.bandcamp.com.)

A huge shoutout to Verity Credit Union for doing so much for the music community and for being such a great partner. 


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