Norwegian post-punk/Nordic noir band Outer Limit Lotus, drops their second long player, Dazzling Darkness, a title borrowed from Joni Mitchell’s “Shine.”
Talking about the album, Outer Limits Lotus says, “If there is an overall theme for the ‘Dazzling Darkness’ album, it has to be the ambiguity of the dark and the unknown. Is it just a void that swallows you whole, or is it a pitch-black ocean of endless possibilities?”
Formed in 2015 by three members of noise rock cult band Haust, Outer Limit Lotus retains the darkness of Haust yet expresses it in a different way, replacing brutality with coldness and deathrock with icy post-punk.
Made up of 11 tracks, Dazzling Darkness begins with “Waiting for You,” a song drenched in the darkly atmospheric coloration of new wave, highlighted by gloomy guitars and deep, mysterious vocals. Vaguely reminiscent of Depeche Mode, only bleaker, the song encapsulates Outer Limit Lotus’ sound.
Entry points include “House,” with its tiptoeing, overcast flow, and resounding bassline, evoking a serpentine, sliding motion. Whereas “Soft Hand” drifts on misty layers of Pink Floyd-like prog-rock, as if moving in slo-mo through a grey, cloudy landscape.
“Again Like Yesterday” conjures up suggestions of The Cure, rolling out on a thick, thrumming bassline as ghostlike, gleaming guitars reveal an arrangement dyed with breathing space, space that allows the notes to populate and expand.
The final track, “Det Mørkner,” appears on wintry, gliding tones, like something out of a Nordic cave in which the Phantom of the Opera plays a glacial dirge tinted by chiming touches of a child’s lullaby.
Cossetted within ice-cold, sepulchral instrumentation, Dazzling Darkness projects tones of melancholic gravity taut with foreboding.
Dazzling Darkness Track Listing:
1. Waiting for You
2. Let the Night Ride You Home
4. The Third Part of the Night
5. The Beach
6. Soft Hand
7. Again Like Yesterday
8. I Am Ready
9. A Dream
11. Det Mørkner
Run Time: 41:58
Release Date: May 12, 2023
Record Label: Sheep Chase Records