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Northumbria & Famine - Blood Orchid

Blood Orchid features a collaboration between Canadian ambient metal duo Northumbria and Canadian experimental electronic musician Famine. Originally recorded for a live radio session, the 16-minute composition is a long bleak improvisation of dark, droning atmospherics. Northumbria who feature the duo of Dorian Williamson and Jim Field have released their eponymous debut along with a remix album All Days Begin As Night filled with droning guitar and bass in a sound they have called "ambient doom". Yet while they are placed in the doom genre, the members of Northumbria have cited influences from Godflesh, Swans, Killing Joke and Black Sabbath to Aidan Baker, Brian Eno, Miles Davis, and to composers such as Stravinsky and Ligeti. Improvisation and ambience seem key to their sound. On Blood Orchid, their amped-up guitar and bass excursions point to a drone based atmospheric sound punctuated by desolate beats and light synth tones. Those synth tones and percussion supplied by Famine add shading to the darker tones of Northumbria's measured improvised guitar based drones. Yet the heaviness and unremitting bleakness of Blood Orchid push the sound into dark ambient realms. You might even be surprised to know that bass and guitars feature here, as everything is pushed into reverberation resulting in an elongated soundscape of haunted contemplative droning. Like Locrian, another of our favourites, who find themselves regarded as experimental drone metal, Northumbria share a love of experimental atmospherics and drone and here with Famine the churning drones exude something quite captivating and beguiling in a release paraphrased from some words from William S. Burroughs - Naked Lunch if you're wondering. Blood Orchid is released by Cathedral Transmission on a 3-inch CD-R limited to a mere 50 copies. It looks like they're all gone but in the absence of a repress it is still available as a download from Bandcamp. For more information go to