Norilsk - _The Idea of North_
(Hypnotic Dirge Records, 2015)
by: Chaim Drishner (9 out of 10)
Basically, if you have this album in your hands, you don't really need Norilsk's EP _Japetus_, unless you are eager to hear the brilliant Voivod cover the band performed on that EP. The remaining couple of (original) tracks off _Japetus_ are presented also on this debut full-length in their entirety and in the exact same version as they had appeared before.

That leaves us with six entirely new tracks (and a couple of excellent older tracks that one could listen to time and again). It doesn't really matter whether you know Norlisk's previous work or are being acquainted with this Canadian duo for the very first time; Norilsk's exciting and original approach to doom/death metal is something everybody should be exposed to, at least once.

_The Idea of North_ is a pulsating and writhing beast, towering like a skyscraper's silhouette over the landscape, blackening it with dark shades of negativity. Norilsk have sort of developed a unique sound; they kind of tune their guitars all the way and deep into the fuzz-mode, so eventually the album sounds like a fuzz-rock (a mixture of psychedelic, space and garage rock) sonic gallery, removed from the traditional sound of doom/death. Add to this the excellent, ominous growls of the frontman, and you have got yourself one wacky, strange and beautiful an album. Norilsk execute an impressive set of strong riffs, that are both rather original and extremely powerful, their richness enables the rather skeletal music to sound grander and much richer.

It's one thing to write good music; it's a whole other thing to invent a new language, a new aesthetic, where song writing, atmosphere and individuality coalesce and give birth to this strange new kid on the block. The album's purity, its absolutely conservative methodology, clashing with newer, progressive ideas, allows it to sound traditional but also like a completely new experience, a new sonic language.

Mysterious, heavy, slightly bizarre and desolate, _The Idea of North_ is a strange album depicting strange vistas; its fuzz uplifting, its growls and sad lullabies dispiriting -- and when mixed, they herald a new dawn for doom/death metal.


(article published 8/7/2015)

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