Artist: Joyless
Album: Wild Signs of the Endtimes

Year: 2009
Genrer: Black Metal, Blues, Depressive Rock, Punk
Run time: 52 minutes
My rating: 4 out of 5

This is a review about the norwegian band Joyless, one review I've wanted to do a long time now. This is an outrageously daring rock band with many successful moments. The foundation of Joyless was formed by three members from the black metal band Forgotten Woods. This would be their side project where unused material would benefit Joyless, but during the year the members lost interest and two of them left the band. The only remaining member Olav Berland managed to recruit the female vocalist Ida Hellebø and together they would soon form a peculiar duo without equal.

My opinion circles around a collection disc released by the Italian label 'A Sad Sadness Song' in 2009. The collection called" Wild Signs of the Endtimes" contains some captured fragments from the band's debut album "Unlimited Hate" and the EP "Blue in the Face" from 1999 and feels very well as an on-creations. Olav has hereby chosen to remove the remaining band members' efforts, that initially brought the great Black Metal genre into the band. Joyless is thus far away from Black Metal today, and favors its own unique Avant-garde Blues Rock genre.

The album begins with a newly recorded intro that never appeared in earlier stages of Joyless. The sound image in the intro feels like something out of a stylistic and melancholy Italian movie from the 70s. Synthetics also reminds me of something that composer Rick Wakeman could have been put together in the early 80s. Then the album continue with two powerful competitions from "Unlimited Hate" and evenly cuts them with the progressive and bluesy side from the "Blue in the Face" with timeless classics like Swansmile that fills out every single depressive tone with a harmonica that tops the sorrowful with a hand full of joy.

"Blue in the Face" is also the obvious case on this compilation album, it's impossible to upset its clearly stray atmosphere that offers the absolute craziest in its production. To my great joy Olav have chose to retain the Motörhead-cover [Do not Need] Religion from "Unlimited Hate", which in many ways can be classified as one of the better interpretations made when it comes to the sound of Motörhead. Vocally he do perform credible and could very well have been replaced by Lemmy in the song.

The last song "Trilobite" is just like the intro; probably also a remake along with Ida Hellebø, as it lacks a title track from previously released albums. I think that's a symbolism to welcome her to the band, since the EP "Blue in the Face" is the last Olav did on his own before the second full length album "Wisdom & Arrogance" from 2000, came to life together with Ida Hellebø.

I can't express myself enough about this collection, I want a separately agree to spare and neat listening through its exquisite quality. It's crazy in many ways and stand out in a powerful way that not many bands dare to do. It is after all very different.


Band members:
Ida Hellebø - Vocals
Thomas Torkelsen - Vocals
Olav Berland - Guitars, Drums, Vocals
Nylon - Guitars
Rune Vedaa - Bass
Reinhardt Toresen - Vocals

Label: A Sad Sadness Song
Country: Norway

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