A song-to-song review of post-metal band Latitude’s latest album
By Peter R. Clark Travel Editor
Latitudes is a post-metal band from London, England. Their third album, “Old Sunlight,” was released earlier this year. Keeping the theme of their previous albums, most songs are longer with a progressive tone about them. With the exception of two, each of the seven songs on the album are over five minutes long.
Track one, “Ordalian,” sets up the mood for the album. It starts off slow, but progressively builds up to a powerhouse of sound. This song is chaotic at times, with the guitars driving the song in haphazard directions.
It’s a perfect song to start an album with, hitting all the notes of what’s to come. It interjects some melody amongst the madness and offers some respite to the overall harrowing tale of anguished sound.
“Ordalian” is the longest track on the album, but not by any means the best. For most of the nine minutes this track lasts, it does the same thing, and eventually ends with a beating to the ears that does not in any way prepare you for the next song.
The second song on the album, “Body Within a Body,” starts off with singing. Unfortunately, the band has not released any of the lyrics online, so it’s difficult to make out what is all being said in a song, but for the majority of this song, the vocals are easily understandable.
“Body Within a Body” is not as hard hitting as the first song, and the music plays off the vocals. At times, the vocalist stops singing and the chaotic nature of the album breaks through in the song, but overall, this is a tame song compared to the others on the album.
Toward the end of the song, the vocals work well with the song and provide a sense of emotion to the track the other tracks seem to lack.
“Amnio” is my second favorite track on the album, and second shortest on the album, sitting at three and a half minutes long. This song reminds me a lot of “The Crystal World” by Locrian. “Amnio” is a building song. A fast ascending and descending sound can be heard as the grueling guitars fade in. The guitars in this song at times sound like something horribly grinding against metal.
Throughout the song’s background, the ascending and descending rapid notes can be heard, which just serve as an escape for your ears as the guitars drone on with their grinding nature. Toward the end, the ascending and descending sound fades; only the guitars can be heard. This is probably the heaviest song on the album. It’s truly a master crafted song.
The fourth track is “Gyre.” It’s a speed demon through and through. It starts fast and almost never slows down. Other than it being fast, there really is nothing else to say about it. It has a few heavy parts, and a few parts of interesting melody, but overall this track is kind of forgettable.
“In Rushes Bound” is my favorite track on the album. It’s a perfect combination of great guitar work, drumming, and singing. The vocals don’t overpower the song, adding a nice emotion to an already fairly emotional track.
At times, this song sets itself up to be a slower song, but then it speeds up. Every once in a while the vocalist adds in his two cents to the song at the perfect time. Towards the end, the rhythm slows down and quits to set itself up for the last part of the song.
Once the last part starts, it’s a downhill crescendo of sound that exemplifies what the band is all about: a post-metal band with influences from various genres and bands. The vocals in this part are well executed and crafted. Overall, this song among my favorites of all time. If the album ended here, I would be fine with it, as the final two songs do not live up to the greatness of “In Rushes Bound.”
I have a hard time listening to the two final songs on the album, “Altarpieces” and “Quandary” as I am taken so at back by “In Rushes Bound” that I simply ignore what’s happening in these songs.
“Altarpieces” is pretty standard fare for this album, it mimics the sound design of “Gyre.” A fast song that is sometimes broken up by moments of clarity. The entropic nature of this song works better here than in “Gyre,” because of the soft moments of melodic sound that are thrown in.
There is a very interesting part toward the middle of the song that sounds like the song is climbing a hill. “Altarpieces” closes with part that could almost be construed as a solo, well at least for this genre.
It’s quite good, and listening to alone and not in sequence right after “In Rushes Bound” makes the song better.
“Quandary” is the shortest song on the album. Sitting at a measly two and a half minutes, this song serves as an outro of sorts. It is a simple song that has a soft guitar playing with a couple of voices saying things. It works as an outro, but it’s pretty boring otherwise. Usually, I skip this song altogether because it seems to add nothing to the album.
Overall, this album is great. I’d leave out a song and rearrange the order, but the album works well as an entropic post-metal album. The chaotic nature of the album is on par with their previous works, and “Old Sunlight” is a great addition to their discography.
I suggest giving it a shot if you are even remotely interested in good music. Latitudes is a fucking great band, and I can’t wait to hear more from them.