Cedric : It has been about two years ago since I first got to know the music of Slovenian band The Canyon Observer. Their record ‘FVCK’ struck me as a great and massively agressive-sounding piece of work. The music on that album could be described as a furious mix between sludge, posthardcore, black metal and a whole lot of noise. The band finished work on their new album, ‘Nøll’, and they still sound angry and mad. Very much so.
Stylewise you could say that The Canyon Observer mainly remained loyal to the sound we got to know on ‘FVCK’, but you can immediately notice that the songs on ‘Nøll’ are more compact and have a shorter playing time than we were used to before. It almost seems that the band tried to delete every aspect from the music that sometimes made it sound more subtle, resulting in a record that is quite heavier-sounding than before. The dissonant noise elements in the songs are a lot more present in the mix, which in combination with the shorter duration of the songs results in a very explosive-sounding musical mix. The listener almost never gets the chance anymore to grasp for air while listening to this nihilistic soundtrack, thus creating an overall feel that is heavier to get accustomed to. I must say that I am personally somewhat dissapointed that the softer elements in the music have been pushed to the background, because it was often the contrast between the used intensities in the music that really grasped my attention. Even after a few spins I find it hard not to find the music on ‘Nøll’ to become a bit one-sided, but luckily the songs still have some layers in them that keep the overall result interesting enough. Influences from bands like Unsane, Old Man Gloom and Altar Of Plagues have become more prominently present in the mix, while the Amen Ra or Neurosis-references are now less important than before.
The Canyon Observer is still a decent and intense-sounding band, but as I already said their new music lacks some contrast for me. If you prefer intensity to variation in music, this will be no issue at all of course. Overall I find ‘Nøll’ to be less captivating than it’s predecessor, but The Canyon Observer still proves to be offering some qualitative music.