I recently stumbled upon a fantastic way for me to embrace and enhance my musical discoveries. There’s nothing like settling down after a long day with an album that you’ve been anticipating since being recommended it. Now most, often experience instances like this, even making it a regular relaxation period for them, but I like to take it a step farther. You see before drifting off to sleep I like to let my mind wander for as long as possible with an album (usually post-metal) that can heighten my imagination’s state of bliss. Latitudes have recently become the conductor for my expeditions.
Describing Latitudes sophomore effort Agonist
is somewhat of an aberration. They’re not strikingly original borrowing several ideas from the likes of Isis
, but there’s a certain factor that seems to distance them from their peers. I presume it’s the way in which they construct their songs. Even if they’re terribly ordinary, underneath their simple designs lay almost flawless execution. They have an insistent nature to keep the ball rolling once the momentum picks up, even with the few seven minute tracks, this is a fine feat. Their diversity, while not spanning the globe, rests in a few places that make the trips worthwhile. Bulging riffs encased with sludge are the focal point; here they’re able to dabble in areas of black metal, post-rock and even some doom insertions. This helps keep the album fresh and away from an overarching aspect of heaviness, on top of heaviness, on top of heaviness.
Like with most post-anything bands Latitudes aren’t short on the prog endeavors; a majority of the tracks are over six minutes long, and while many will scoff, you’d be surprised to hear much the band can do in such a time frame. In fact this feels like the perfect scope for Latitudes creative aspects to brew. Even more shocking is how experimental the band is with shorter tracks like “Steppe and Veld” which has a stifling riff conducing a claustrophobic atmosphere. However, my favorite offering is the contrast the band employ with the occasional vocal spot bordering the likes of Alcest
. It provides a beautiful balance to the barrage of bricks that are thrown.
Despite how unoriginal I may have perceived this as with the earlier comparisons, Latitudes are solid post-metal. They can strut anything from a twisted love affair between steel string acoustics and Isis
like down tempo flexing (“Fluxes of the Womb”), to a voyage of drum stampedes across tracks of fluttering riffs (“Antechamber”). It’s an album like this that proves music doesn’t have to be wholly original to be great. In fact weren’t all truly great albums excavated with a little inspiration? Eh, I’m not really trying to vindicate true inspiration. What I am trying to say is that this album provides the perfect synopsis for my dreamscapes.