30th October 2014 – Self-released
Nojia are a 4 piece from Toulouse; France. They’re not huge, but they should be.
Gheist is their debut release. Initially intended as just a demo, this 3-track EP is a compelling soundtrack full of emotion, technicality and progression. The post-rockers state influences from Cult of Luna, Isis and Neurosis, yet they have found a way of developing a more progressive nature to their sound. An instrumental band in a similar vein to Russian Circles and Red Sparowes, the group are free to delve further into their own introspective journey without worrying about crowding a voice.
It is surprising the lack of vocals aren’t felt throughout; lyrics tend to tie a bind between band and listener, the bridge between music and relative understanding. Nojia are able to fully convey the emotive nature of their instruments without the need for vocals; they keep you drawn in and provide an altogether richer experience for it.
Laying out the blueprint of what is to be expected, the introduction to their musical structure begins with layers of strung out guitars, shaping melodic tones that are offset with discordant notes. “Canyon” expands and waves of layers are cleverly arranged: the rhythm sections ever-changing; bass and drums locking onto each other as they move through various time signatures allowing the lead guitar to work seamlessly. Each instrument serves its purpose and it’s the leads that glue the pieces together.
The next piece – “Golem” – enters into a dark and much heavier direction, relying on a piano-heavy lead. It’s what Opeth would have sounded like if they decided to be more frantic in their transitions. “Golem” changes so frequently between phrases that it’s almost the most uncertain part of the puzzle Nojia have created.
Both the opening and closing tracks are slower in building. They mirror each other in their approach; creating enough time for the listener to become aware of where the song will lead, and they have a maturity that is not present in the middle.
Nojia have created a story and it resembles the notion of life, through birth and the process of learning and the angst felt in “Golem“, to the certainty through knowledge and wisdom in the final chapter.
Nojia are able to take you on such a journey through life in just three tracks that you are left feeling content and resolved. Bands often struggle to even achieve this within the space of an album. For fans of post-rock this is an essential listen.