Turbid North
The Decline

Turbid North delivering a new album takes me back to when Eyes Alive was released 7 years ago. So young, naïve, and infinitely more fuckable. Unless you’re a cougar. Not the animal, though. I’ve found no parallels.

Much like the awful tenure of my life from then to now, it hit me hard when I saw a new album was on the way. The Decline, however hits me hard in a good way. Much like the unexpected surprises of my life recently. I’ll elaborate… on the album.

After the intro, that crushing guitar tone comes in on the first track, “Eternal Dying,” and it lights my soul on fire. The vocals transport me back and I immediately know this album is not going to leave my rotation for some time. Call it synergy, call it whatever you wish, but like a lot of things going well in my life, damn did I need this!

The first track flows perfectly into the second, “The Oppressor.” Maybe it’s because of my musical tastes and palate mature and seasoned, but I certainly now see the doomy side of the band more, much like a slightly less expansive YOB. This one is short, punchy, and explosive, but you just know there’s more.

This would be a good time to point out that the third track, “Slaves,” continues directly from the previous one. In some sections, I hear a slight resemblance to Jason Netherton, which makes total sense as this one is grindy, thrashy, and barely under 4 minutes. For about the last minute, it slows to a crushing doom crawl I was wanting more than I want a genuine, fulfilling human connection…

Ahem. Ignore that. If for some reason you believe diversity is an old, old wooden ship used in the Civil War days, the very next song is “Life Over Death.” Somehow, some way, it sounds like Tool’s Lateralus with more fuzz.

I’ll run out of room if I don’t skip ahead, so I’ll go to track 9, “A Dying Earth,” which is nearly 9 minutes. The previous one flowed into this, as the album could be considered a single 43-minute track in 10 sections. Despite its gargantuan length (I told myself I wasn’t gonna), it’s instrumental and never boring. The ending is either Viking horns or someone shitting in an empty, cavernous restroom…

That flows into the closer, “Time.” This is the slowest song on the album, and gives me some Worm vibes in their quieter, more introspective moments. It does get a little heavier near the end, and certainly has sufficient build to the crescendo. Even though the album ends there, it feels as though it’s leading into something else, and I hope that’s the case.

Usually, I’m not into surprises unless it’s a back alley beeej. I’ll make an exception for such an excellent return. Maybe I wouldn’t like this album as much as if I knew it was coming, but I’m doubtful. I think it’s an early year-end list contender either way, and I’m hoping I don’t have to wait another 7 years for the next.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
February 22nd, 2023

Comments

  1. Commented by: Oli

    Thanks, this fucking rules.


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