Northvia – S/T EP


Instrumental music is not the easiest to listen to, unless you’re enjoying something soft and ambient while reading a book or drifting off to sleep. An instrumental band needs to make its music interesting enough and involved enough to make up for the lack of vocals to draw the listener in. This means the traditional style of rock where a few hooks supplement the vocals won’t work. The instruments themselves have to carry the message.

The four members of Northvia are fortunately talented enough to carry this off. On five relatively short songs, the band manages to create a cohesive and flowing work that is meant to be listened to in one sitting, and fortunately its length supports that goal. Highly technical guitarwork is mixed nicely in layers with intricate percussion and some nice synths flowing throughout.

Things start with “Rebirth, Part 1,” which builds on layered guitars and intricate percussions by the song’s conclusion before drifting off in a soft wash of sound to flow nicely into “Rebirth, Part 2.” The latter takes off a bit on a more cerebral journey, a bit more laid-back yet focused on some spectacular rhythm. “Maya (Misperception)” comes in more dreamy, more ethereal. But the song picks up on stellar guitar by its mid-point and leads seamlessly into “Avidya (Ignorance),” which flows nicely over its seven-plus minutes. Finally, “Ananda (Bliss)” closes things off a bit more lush, with synths mixing with fantastic guitar and bass.

Somehow, this whole thing comes across feeling very progressive. Beyond even the song titles, which seem to hint toward a theme here, the music has elements of classic rock and psychedelica that are unique. Fortunately, things change often enough and well enough to keep ideas flowing and shifting, and while I couldn’t place Northvia in any one genre, I do like what I hear.