Friday, September 25, 2009

Album: Latitudes - Agonist

Band: Latitudes
Album: Agonist
Label: Shelsmusic
Year: 2009

01. Myth Cathexis
02. Antechamber
03. Fluxes Of The Womb
04. Steppe & Veld
05. Braille
06. Hunting Dance
07. Agonist

If you’re not already familiar with UK post-metal five piece Latitudes, then the only question should be, why not? Their tunes are dark, dreamy, beautiful and monumentally heavy, a combination that leaves you haunted but joyous at the same time and like label mates *shels the ear battering might be awe inspiring but it is not relentless and overpowering, instead it leaves you gagging for more.

They’ve only previously had one EP released, but it’s hard to believe based on this record that they are such a young band. “Agonist” only takes moments to show you that Latitudes can seduce you slowly with gentle, swirling eddies of melody and distortion before blowing you away with wave after wave of intense noise, the crescendos are built so skilfully that you can’t stop listening even though you know where it will end.

The record begins in suitably doom-laden style with ‘Myth Cathexis’ a low, dirty grind fest of a track, instrumental but not lacking in emotional punch and seriously heavy, with several moments of spine tingling chord changes and quirky, quiet interludes where the guitars are given time to pick out and show off nice little riffs. And that’s just the opening track. The album isn’t lacking great tracks but if you have to pick, ‘Antechamber’ is a real gem, with almost ethereal guest vocals from Adam Symonds (Eden Maine), it soars and pounds in equal measure and is just brilliant. Also up there as an immediate favourite is ‘Braille’ which has some fantastic and really memorable riffs and it’s impossible to leave out a mention of ‘Hunting Dance’ which has a dreamy start, a main riff so catchy you can’t forget it without having your memory erased and more of those lovely vocals from Symonds.

A brilliant debut full-length from Latitudes and well worth waiting for, we can’t recommend it enough, easily a contender for post-metal album of the year. -R13


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