Night Profound is a Vancouver, B.C. neofolk duo who have played with the likes of King Dude and Death In June. This began as S.P. Hache’s (Mitochondrion, Auroch, ex-Havoc) solo project in 2010, but R. Scythe Bearer (ex-Pestkreuz, ex-Havoc) joined him in 2012. They actually played a legendary show with King Dude here in Portland on Halloween night at The Old Church (which I’m still kicking myself for missing). Their lengthy 4-track album Invocatio Lux, Evocatio Nox, which is limited to 300 vinyl copies, was just released last month on Not Just Religious Music run by King Dude.
The album opens with “Night of Fire & Flames,” an acoustic guitar and piano-driven song with deep, goth rock style vocals and occult lyrics. It seems to evolve quite a bit as it goes on, getting faster and faster before crashing back into a soft, somber sound. In that way, it does seem to match the movement of fire. A good chunk of the song is mellow and calming. Symbols crash into silence. Already they’re making music feel like a truly spiritual experience.
“Night of Lightning Bolts” starts out with a heavy dark guitar and atmosphere, but simultaneously the vocals are melodic and the acoustic guitar is whimsical. The music gets slower and sadder with sounds of rain in the background after a while. I’d say this is the moodiest song on the album, and my personal favorite because of how emotionally powerful it is. After a while, the faster tempo crashes back in with more occult imagery and themes.
“Night of Blood & Ash” is the shortest track and the closest to what you could call a traditional song, but it still fluctuates a lot. The song starts off with a whimsically fast tempo. The vocals are deep and gritty, but the guitar is very folky and uplifting. About a minute in, the song slows down a lot and it takes on a different form. From there it picks up again, my personal favorite part beginning at 2:45. It’s beautifully theatric and was probably a trip to experience live; great song to sing along to.
Finishing track “Night of Shining Death” starts off much softer than the previous songs. It’s reminiscent of Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, King Dude, etc. The vocals are really powerful here. It has a depressing tone to it for the most part, but then starts to sound more uplifting about halfway through. More instruments are added after this point, the climax giving off a tribal vibe. The message of being reborn is heavily touched on with the catchiest melody on the album. The lyrics “And with this song / I am reborn” are the perfect description of this song itself as it evolves from sad to happy. It’s basically two songs in one.
While Night Profound’s sound in different parts of their music is similar to the other artists I mentioned here, they truly are their own thing and likely to appeal to occultists who aren’t necessarily into neofolk. Their music takes you on a deep, personal journey and there are incredible amounts of layers and depth that feel so natural. You really have to give the whole album a listen to understand what I mean, even if it’s a passive listen. The vinyl copies of the album come in three beautiful colors (Ash Grey, Blood Red, and Blood & Ash). You can follow these guys on Facebook and listen to their discography on Bandcamp.