The Norwegian band Next Life are dropping their new album Guru Meditation on August 21 via Fysisk Format. The band intertwines tough thrash metal with the pristinely chilly formality of 8-bit/chiptune music, which is likely most familiar thanks to its traditional usage in video games. The band’s particular artistic vision packs a distinctly modern-feeling, energetically invigorating creation that feels like it’s peeling away some of the most established trends to reveal a powerful emotional core that we ought not to lose sight of. Get a first listen below to the latest Next Life single!
Called “Strength I,” the opening 40 seconds or so feature nothing but the chilly chiptune music intertwined with a slowly pulsating, much warmer-feeling synth in the background. The thrash comes in quickly — it’s a heavy, methodical riffing that builds on the foundation of the chiptune melodies to craft something that carries the crisp certainty inherent in the synths across its whole breadth. The thrash elements of the song aren’t overwhelming at all, and the synths are not just a garnish — they run for most of the track, like an ominous soundtrack for a walk through some kind of metaphysical limbo.
The band’s founder Hai Nguyen Dinh has shared: “My values are expressed in the music, I want the sound to be hard, distinct and transparent, as in old 8-bit computer games: Minimalist in the technology but maximalist in the combination of elements. Creating massive riches out of the tiniest particles.Next Life has always been about using old technology, not just for the nostalgic sound of it, but as and expression of our political view: Technology and humanity is in unbalance and we need to step back and make better use of the existing technology rather than the raging consumerism of keeping updated with the shifting technology. Music and art is the first place where new ideas can take form and, in time, change society.”
The song is “one out of several slow songs/powerballads from their fourth album, Guru Meditation,” and the “title “Strength” is based on attributes in a RPG role playing game inspired by Dungeons And Dragons (D&D),” press material has explained. Besides Hai, Next Life’s latest album also features the talents of Hans-Petter Lund Jørgensen. Nab pre-orders at this link. If you like Igorrr, Master Boot Record, or other music along those lines, then you might be into Guru Meditation.