Review: NYOS – Waterfall Cave Fantasy, Forever
Hello, friends. It’s been a while. But I return to the bowl once again slinging wares of experimental music and stuff that’s mostly tangentially related to metal. I hope you check this one out, it’s a good one.
Now I’ll admit I’ve been away from my duty of keeping up with current music for a little bit now, so forgive me if these are big names I should know about. NYOS is an experimental duo from Finland, comprised of UK guitarist Tom Brooke (Toneheaven recording studio) and drummer Tuomas Kainulainen who pull from the traditions of math rock, free jazz, and harsh noise to build their compositions.
That’s the background, now let’s get into the music. What I really like about this album is that it uses a lot of repetition and layering, two of my favorite compositional techniques, and each track leads into its own sort of meditative state, moving through its own journey. “Pillow Fight” is probably the clearest example of what I mean here, with motives and moods building and changing on top of that ever marching ostinato underneath.
The gentle, joy-filled march of “Pillow Fight” leads into “It Flew Until it Fell,” probably the most appealing to those who come looking for a more explicitly noise rock sound. Tons of fun and a primer for the more sludgy, heavy tracks that play out on the record.
Waterfall Cave Fantasy, Forever is full of well-produced and composed tracks that show off a variety of moods, and the play with polyrhythms and ostinati is fun and creates a uniquely NYOS sound, but the repetition can also end up being something that might put off a listener for repeated sessions. I don’t know how other reviewers do it, but I basically listen to an album at least 3 times before reviewing and then loop it while writing the review, and after a while the repetition definitely got to me.
I don’t, however, necessarily think that’s a huge detractor. I would just say this is probably an album that should have some records added to the playlist before it loops back around. There’s tons of interesting stuff going on here, especially for a duo of two instrumentalists there’s still plenty exploration of texture and contrast, and everything they’re going for does land. There’s not a single song on here that I think would be best skipped. Instead there are 7 tracks where I think each and every one of them is worth your time.
4/5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell
Waterfall Cave Fantasy, Forever drops October 27, 2023 through Pelagic Records.