Review Summary: After pulling the rug from under the post metal world with Agonist, Latitudes up the ante and blow the freaking house down.
Last we left Latitudes they were shifting the way most thought about sludge by dwindling the notions that came with the term and accelerating the pace substantially. On their third effort Individuation
they take those ideas a step further and prove to be a forefront revitalizer in the post-whatever world. To call Individuation
breathtaking would be merely undermining its ability to take one’s breath away. With a newly developed sense of attack the band exerts all aspects of why people love metal. We’re dealing with a really heavy album here folks. Laced with doom and boom Latitudes come out the gates firing on all cylinders and rarely ease up. I’d suggest taking taking a breath beforehand.
Opener “Hyperbolic Forge” is near perfect in setting the stage for this dark voyage. The song opens to static buzzing that draws close to the ominous riff ahead. From here the song cascades into a dense frenzy that encapsulates what the rest of Individuation
does so well, submergence. Within seconds of each track the listener is plunged into depths that are struggling to retreat from. A pummeling double bass sets the standard for ridiculous groove sections that absolutely steal the show time and again. This is no better articulated than on “Isleward” a mysterious track placed in the middle of the record, it offers nothing more than drone and simple strumming, but it may be the most important. Its tone represents all this album encompasses be it the moody passages or the constant lack of predictability. But the even bigger tale here is the explosion into “Shapeshifter”, a track bent on endurance, standing eight and half minutes tall its dominance over repetition, and then, lack thereof, is a marvel.
The biggest success story here though is the absolute stunner, “Metabolic Pathways”, an instrumental piece that ascends from a grandiose piano performance that immediately captivates with its fury resting atop a simple progression that eventually descends into the continuing murk that is Adam Crowley and Tim Blyth dual led atmosphere. The track enforces what Latitudes do so well, in that, they’re always transforming the simple into broad ideas that must be revisited in order to be truly recognized. This could be said even for the straight shooting title track which pulls little punches in closing out the album, yet still embellishes little additions to acquire a stronger arc (think Meshuggah
) - in the grand scheme of things - this could be said in favor for every song on Individuation
. But before I become a broken record, let me reinforce, this is what Latitudes have mastered
There will come a time after we’ve lost Neuorsis
and think “who’s left”? With Individuation
Latitudes have gladly answered the call. Individuation
atmosphere sucks one in with no after thought - and it’s addicting. The little nuances that identify each track are astonishing to find, and are a testament to the band as craftsmen at the peak of their game. Whether it laments their status as the kings of their genre is a story not worth investigating because Latitudes have truly created something all of their own.