Published on Saturday, 18 March 2017 16:41
Album title: Markland
Release date: 21 March 2017
Label: Cryo Chamber
03. The Night Wolves/Black Moon
04. Ostara's Return
05. Still Clearing
06. Low Sun I
07. The Shores Of The Suffering Wind
08. Low Sun II
10. The Stars As My Guide
Markland (meaning “Forest Land”) the second album from ice cold soundscapers Jim field and Dorian Williamson as a duo by the name Northumbria is their second effort on Cryo Chamber, the first being Helluland (“Land of the Flat Stones”) which is a real place north of Markland; the new full length at hand. These places were discovered by a man called Leif Eriksson around 1000 CE. The two albums they have released are named after two of three lands on North America’s Atlantic shore, the final land being Vinland which I suspect will be the next album.
This album starts off with images recalled of old ships sailing the Atlantic Ocean searching for new land, stricken with sickness and unstable mental states due to losing sleep. You can imagine Leif Eriksson using the stars as his guide, the mooring lines swaying up above and the sails flailing in the Atlantic winds.
The wall of thick and foggy sounds lull you in and out of consciousness taking you on a ride not knowing where you may end up, what curiosities lay ahead in your travels. Visions of when times were truly tough and many things were left undiscovered you are left with a true sense of wonder amongst all the fear that may strike you. Upon the horizon, the sun is rising filtering through the fog emitting beams of light onto your weather-beaten vessel, covering your eyes with your hand you try to make out what it is you are seeing. Land at last, the voyage has come to an end and you can gather much needed resources.
You hear the crunch of stones and the shallow splashes of water as you depart your vessel and prepare yourself for land that is now being touched by man for the first time. Trees swaying in the distance and the swirling cold air screeching around you as if to try to convince you to leave this unknown place, you decide to trudge onward. What lies ahead in this barren landscape? You ask yourself blowing onto your icy hands. Are you safe? What may dwell here? Questions may be left unanswered but alas, curiosity takes the wheel and into Markland you go.
A sense of adventure is ever present in this wonderful album, a backdrop of sound to allow you to close your eyes and imagine Leif’s travels, Markland: “The Forest Land” has finally been discovered.
Review written by: Tom Necklen