Northless
World Keeps Sinking LP

Continuing with tradition, Adam at Gilead Media has yet again released another of the undeniable best records of 2013. Northless‘ second full-length, World Keeps Sinking is an absolute behemoth-sized mash-up of their blend of Sludge, Doom, Post-Metal, and dare I say I feel a little Prog in there? Shhhh, it’s okay. Picture a shootout between Indian and Cult of Luna, and no one is the winner because they all die. That’s sort of what Northless sound like if you’re unfamiliar. If you are familiar, and like me, their last full length Clandestine Abuse was one of your favorite records of 2011, you’re still in for a bit of a surprise, but it’s an improvement in almost every way.

“Last Of Your Kind” kicks the record off in a different fashion than Clandestine Abuse. Where the last record came out of the gate crushing everything in its path, World Keeps Sinking starts off with a harmonized single note trip around the neck of the guitars akin to any of the post-metal titans. Don’t worry though, the off-kilter, breathtakingly heavy riffing isn’t far off. Massive, down-tuned, stomping rhythms take over, and even sort of break into some Stoner feeling moments before crashing headfirst back into Post-Metal meets Sludge territory. Their angular riffing is almost Coalesce-y at times.

“Kuru” is the second track and starts off with another departure. It sounds like a filthy Doom riff that has been slightly bit-crushed. But after two measures, it turns into what could be one of the heaviest riffs I’ve ever heard. Plodding, oppressive, and again a bit bent, this is surely not Sludge-By-Numbers New Orleans worship. After a little break, look for the awesome buildup and extremely fitting, slightly dissonant ‘solo’ beginning around the 5-minute mark. You can tell Northless are becoming masters of their own sound.

Attempting to steer clear of a 2,000 word essay on all of the interesting and noteworthy parts, I’m trying to avoid continuing a track-by-track breakdown. Expect tons of Earth shaking Sludge, plenty of cacophonous and eccentric riffing, and thoughtful inclusions of influences you didn’t even know these guys had. I’m so impressed by the territory World Keeps Sinking covers that was previously uncharted by the band.

The 11-minute fourth track “Communion” gives you everything above, but tacks on about 3 minutes of unexpected, but not out of place clean picking as a segue into the fifth and longest track, album centerpiece “Passage.” Within these 16 minutes, we find Northless having their Cult of Luna level moment of brilliance. It’s all one perfectly executed riff after another, all sewn together with threads of gorgeous transitions and passages of immense riffing.

Instead of releasing another body-bashing piece of colossal Doom and Sludge with hints of something more, they dialed back the intensity (albeit however slightly) and Northless has really pieced together something inspired here. One more record like this and the band may solidify themselves as the triumphant kings of a LONG tired and imitative genre, that really only has a few bands doing anything worth noting anymore. In a year where Cult of Luna release yet another killer record, Northless has the audacity to put out World Keeps Sinking and unseat them for the best Post-Metal(ish) record. That is company they most certainly want to be in.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick E
August 12th, 2013

Comments

  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    You had me at Cult of Luna…


  2. Commented by: stiffy
  3. Commented by: bast

    “Picture a shootout between Indian and Cult of Luna, and no one is the winner because they all die.” Hell yes.


  4. Commented by: jerry

    interested in Erik’s take on this.


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