Friday, 4 March 2016

Latitudes - "Old Sunlight" (Album Review)

By: Charlie Butler

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 22/01/2016
Label: Debemur Morti Productions


Their crunchy take on Pelican’s colossal ambition shot through with Mastodon’s progressive grit is as potent as ever, particularly evident on the monstrous “Altarpieces”. “Old Sunlight” is no retread of former glories though, every track crackles with the energy of the band expanding their horizons. “Ordalian” and “Gyre” are riddled with frantic black metal-influenced tremolo picking, injecting an air of grandiose melody to the Latitudes already epic sound.  “Old Sunlight” consolidates all that was great about Latitudes and stretches it in intriguing new directions to intoxicating effect. Hopefully they won’t leave another four years until the next time.


“Old Sunlight” CD//DD//LP track listing:
01. Ordalian
02. Body Within A Body
03. Amnio
04. Gyre
05. In Rushes Bound
06. Altarpieces
07. Quandary

The Review:

Hertfordshire quintet, Latitudes have built up a fierce reputation as a UK post-metal powerhouse equal to their US peers. New album, “Old Sunlight” shows that the four year gap since their last LP has done nothing to diminish their prowess. Their crunchy take on Pelican’s colossal ambition shot through with Mastodon’s progressive grit is as potent as ever, particularly evident on the monstrous “Altarpieces”.

Old Sunlight” is no retread of former glories though, every track crackles with the energy of the band expanding their horizons. “Ordalian” and “Gyre” are riddled with frantic black metal-influenced tremolo picking, injecting an air of grandiose melody to the Latitudes already epic sound. These new influences are integrated seamlessly into their sonic spectrum, taking what could have been an abrupt, jarring swerve into new musical territory and creating a distinct sound, bearing the hallmarks of many genres, without slotting easily into any pigeonholes.

The band blur things further with “Body Within A Body” and “In Rushes Bound”. These tracks bring electronic textures to the fore, working alongside the punishing riffs to provide a perfect backdrop for some angelic, yet sinister, vocals. This is a style you rarely hear used in heavy music and works well here. The section in “Body Within A Body” when the music is stripped back to haunting organ and a lonely croon which creates an unsettling atmosphere, redolent of prog voyagers like King Crimson.

“Quandary” brings the album to a close with a sparse guitar and voice ballad, another left turn which reaps rewards. This track and drumless interlude “Amnio” provide effective contrast to the huge big riffing monsters here, allowing the listener to process these trips beyond the event horizon.

Old Sunlight” consolidates all that was great about Latitudes and stretches it in intriguing new directions to intoxicating effect. Hopefully they won’t leave another four years until the next time.

“Old Sunlight” is available here



Band info: facebook

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