Joyless – Without Support …   Leave a comment

Another outstanding release from Van Records. Joyless sounds like nothing I have been listening to for the last couple of years. Hailing from Norway, Joyless was born out of the ashes of the black metal outfit Forgotten Woods, originated in 1991. Get their As The Wolves Gather! Listening to Forgotten Woods actually shines some light on the original sound of Urfaust. According to, together with Burzum, Forgotten Woods helped to create the so-called depressive black metal subgenre. – always a pleasure to juggle with tags – calls Joyless depressive rock J. Actually, Joyless released quite a few EP’s, LP’s and splits, amongst others with Urfaust.
 It’s hard to pinpoint Joyless sound. The overall atmosphere is one of neurotic, slow lethargy with haunting riffs and a clear voice. You can hear post-punk elements, new wave, ambient and folk all combined into one enthralling release. It is depressive as it is beautiful, so let me stress once again how utterly original this release is. The only way to describe the conjured atmosphere is a mildly happy, demented dreamlike state.
 Have A Nice Fight starts with multiple levels of guitars and a sparse, clean drum. The singer’s vocals are as beautiful as they are fragile. Puberty And Dreams is quite different from the rest of the tracks because of the male voice included. The riff of this 2nd track is truly memorable and has a strong, radio friendly hook. Better is this happy-go-lucky track (‘Every Day Is Better Than The Next’) that serves as a antidote to the ‘depressive’ tag.

Shadow Spree is a fun, poppy new wave kind of a track, with a strong, ‘indie’ riff. Notice how I get tongue-tied & mixed up in tags and labels while trying to describe the tracks of Without Support. Trilobite is quite a punky song with an old school drum and in the spotlight once again the lovely voice of Ida Hellebø. Shimmer And Shine has this slowly, dragging thing going, while Velvet Willows is all sweetness and Velvet Underground. The last track Journey has this nice organ or keyboard, creating an enchanting atmosphere.

For more information on the band, check out this sweet interview on carnagemetal: Carnage Metal Blogspot. This interview sheds some light on the title, Without Support. According to Ida Hellebø, the title refers to the expected reaction from critics because of the unpopular or untrendy sound of Joyless. Well, I have good news for you Joyless: you’ll get support from Doommantia J.

You can listen to Joyless’ De Profundis Domine here: YouTube. And here to their Shimmer And Shine: YouTube.

Review Written By Sandrijn van den Oever
Without Support is now available at Van Records.

8 / 10

Joyless @ Myspace
Joyless @ Facebook
Van Records


Posted April 27, 2011 by doommantia in Joyless

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