Review Summary: Awesome Alaskan mountain metal from the heart of Texas.
Turbid North is a band mostly dominated the Alaskan metal scene with their thrash-heavy brand of metal, supposedly after a successful tour with Drowning Pool they were advised to come more down south in order to get exposure. And where else, but Texas itself which led to my exposure to the band. I was given a copy of “Under the Eight” which had some solid riffs, but lacked a lot of originality. Afterword however members started fleeing back to Alaska, and the group started to bring in more Texan members which turned out to be the fire they needed to really start getting attention.
The style on this album is vastly different from the last. The group refers to it as "Alaskan Mountain Metal" which basically sounds like the instrumentation is more along the lines of melodic death metal, while the new vocalist has a strong death metal growl, while also ranging into a high black metal like shriek. The band occasionally veers off into more subgenres throughout (sludge, and post-metal for examples), but manages to keep it within their new melodic death metal meets sludge style. This new style has managed to be the smartest move for the band offering atmosphere and overall just a much more interesting listen. For those who are worried about the almighty riffs there are still plenty and seems to be stronger then it was on the last record.
The intro song “Wolves” is a nice hard smack to the eardrum and almost instantly your in for one heavy ride. The album seems to be keeping a pretty heavy, fast, but definitely enjoyable formula right up until the track “Stormblast” slowing things down to an almost Mastodon
-esque style, and gives a nice change of pace. Before heading back to one of the most heavy tracks “Between The Glacier and The Sea”, before leading to the epic, atmospheric tracks “Kodiac pt. 1 & 2” which shows off the band's talents quite impressively. The real problem with this record is the final track “Floating the Ionosphere” which while blends a lot of subgenres into a nice blend, seems to be long winded and really seems to slow down then start right back up, giving a heavy sense of “is it over yet"”.
Overall this is a heavily promising release from an upcoming Texas metal act that values riffs and solos over breakdowns. Nice use of atmosphere, top notch production, and a diverse range of styles manages to make this one of the more interesting releases from an underground band I've heard in a long time. While some improvement would be nice, they have come far enough to garner plenty of attention.