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The Northern Ontario Black Metal Preservation Society - "Future Northern Prosperity" (Vinyl)

The Northern Ontario Black Metal Preservation Society - "Future Northern Prosperity" Vinyl cover image

"Future Northern Prosperity" track listing:

1. Northern October
2. Rediscovering the Divine

Reviewed by on October 19, 2010

"What you get here on this two-track 7 inch is something that combines the essence of the genre with something more tangible to grasp onto."

With a name as adventurous as The Northern Ontario Black Metal Preservation Society, it’s imperative that you need to deliver some pretty epic tunes on your debut release. The reality is, if you fail to impress, the fickle metal masses will surely write you off in an instant. Luckily for everyone involved, this band's debut 7" vinyl contains two songs that are beyond epic, they are a journey all their own. The Northern Ontario Black Metal Preservation Society represents everything its name suggests; the north, freezing cold, dark days, darker nights, long winters, the Canadian province of Ontario, and of course, black metal. This isn't your stereotypical black metal though.

What you get here on this two-track 7" is something that combines the essence of the genre with something more tangible to grasp onto. Sure, blast beats are a plenty and walls of guitar noise are utilized to their full, unholy potential but beyond that is more, much more. Traditional, European black metal elitists/purists will more than likely find much to lament with this release, but it’s obvious that The Northern Ontario Black Metal Preservation Society is made of non-conformists and more than likely wouldn't give a shit what you think anyways.

The album's first track, "Northern October," more or less tricks the listener into believing a false reality with its initial black metal onslaught. The sudden shrill scream and the intense blast beats quickly give way to a more black n' roll vibe. The guitar work is to the point and takes on a more metal persona, but The Northern Ontario Black Metal Preservation Society still refuse to be tied down by any specific genre label. The chorus contained within "Northern October" sounds like that of the late Peter Steele of Type-O Negative fame, with its methodical and near robotic sound. Music wise, imagine throwing Darkthone into a blender with some Ministry and letting it come together as one entity while all the time maintaining its credibility and dark force. It seems as if this song is a direct challenge to the black metal community, a challenge to broaden its horizons and break away from the simplistic mentality of self-repetition. If so, "Northern October" would be its war cry.

"Future Northern Prosperity" ends with the haunting track, "Rediscovering the Divine." The song begins with a delicate picking section on a clean, electric guitar before exploding in a black metal fury. The vocals are without a doubt inspired by the likes of other black metal acts, but what makes this so much better is the clarity and precision of the vocals. While screeching and raspy, you can understand every word. Along with the chilling vocals comes the transition into a more progressive vein, bringing eerie and low clean singing into the mix with a more melodic approach to the music. Some might hear a strong Agalloch influence in these songs, but things are also much further on the black metal spectrum with this release. The guitar work is more prominent and aggressive, while also maintaining a certain aspect of accessibility. For lack of a better term, this stuff won’t make the casual listener's ears bleed like traditional black metal has the potential of.

"Future Northern Prosperity," is a beast of an EP that makes a sudden and lasting impact. While The Northern Ontario Black Metal Preservation Society may be in its embryonic stages, it already has one incredible release under its belt with hopefully many more to come. The music, while containing a certain level of black metal's raw essence, also opens the gates to many other musical territories, provinces, and landscapes. "Future Northern Prosperity" acts as the perfect prologue to a broader voyage, one that should spread throughout the world and make a permanent mark on all things black metal. The only thing wrong with this release is that it only has two tracks, leaving the listener with a starving hunger for more.

Highs: Two amazing songs that span across different areas of black metal

Lows: The damn thing only has two songs!

Bottom line: An amazing release featuring two strong, progressive black metal compositions.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)