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Latitudes: Part Island

Not many bands can combine gorgeous melodies with savage intensity like UK act Latitudes, and their brand new release from Debemur Morti Productions is a near perfect ride through haunting, lush, beautiful soundscapes and a crushing mix of ferocious black metal and pummeling doom. Though they've been in existence since 2006, Latitudes are seemingly at their peak here on Part Island, with the current incarnation of the band consisting of:

Mike Davies - Drums
Adam Crowley - Guitar
Tim Blyth - Guitar, Synth
Jon Lyon - Bass
Adam Symonds - Vocals, Guitar, Synth

Vocalist Symonds is a revelation, his melodic, haunting delivery reminiscent of heavyweights Mikael Akerfeldt & Jonas Renske, as he drifts & soars through atmospheric prog-metal tracks such as "Underlie" and the textured "Moorland Is the Sea", while "Dovestone" is a complete winner with no shortage of chilling synths, booming, doom laden riffing, and lush acoustic passages. "Fallowness" bridges the gap between Bauhaus, folk, and atmospheric black metal, the tremolo picked guitar riffs violent and effective. If you crave brutal blast beats, look no further than "The Great Past", a juggernaut of a track that sees Symonds floating over intense riffs & blasts, the band twisting and changing tempos and time signatures in what is the albums heaviest and most progressive track. Closing things out here is the epic title cut, as the calming folk textures give way to bruising doom and raucous black metal, but the '70s styled prog rock never too far away and enveloping everything else that is happening. Fascinating stuff.

If you are someone who loves the proggy nature of Enslaved, or perhaps misses the early prog-meets-extreme metal Opeth (minus the growls, cause you don't get them here), Part Island will be a must hear album for you. Thought provoking, classy, intense, and's all these things and more.

Track Listing
01. Underlie 5:39
02. Moorland Is The Sea 7:20
03. Dovestone 7:37
04. Fallowness 6:17
05. The Great Past 6:38
06. Part Island 10:05

Added: April 13th 2019
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1585
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Latitudes: Part Island
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2019-04-13 09:53:40
My Score:

Having evolved from being a purely instrumental outfit into one who did, occasionally, allow some vocals to infuse their work, Brit post-metal outfit Latitudes have with Part Island gone the whole hog, with the voice of Adam Symonds, who also adds some guitar and synths, now featured throughout. His performance on the dark, deep, dense melancholy this outfit specialises in begs the question why it’s taken so long to be pushed front and centre but it has and there’s little doubt that move on its own probably broadens this band’s appeal substantially.

Long instrumental passages are still a forceful feature on this album, as a band who trade in bleakness paint their shimmering black, grey and white pictures. Intricate this band most certainly are, but varied wouldn’t be a description I’d bandy about quite so willingly. That however is a calculated risk by Latitudes, little acoustic passages and asides used to press pause on what could otherwise be an overbearing battering ram. This approach allows much of this album to be a building process where emotion is patiently, but determinedly, ladled on to each track before often receding again so the process can be reconstructed further down the line. As a way to keep you tuned in to what is laid down here it is a clever, if hardly earth shattering, trick where you know that the sweeping stabs of guitars will soon rain down once more, often backed by consistent cymbal smashes that can at times prove just a little to repetitive for their own good.

However, when the pace is ramped up a little - something which happens often enough to hold the attention but infrequently enough to still make for a pleasant surprise when it does - Latitudes actually reveal an inner strength that isn’t always apparent in the big, bold, but somehow fragile momentum that’s maintained elsewhere. The performances throughout are outstanding but the overall sound can at times feel like a wailing wallop rather than a careful caress and if I’ve one real complaint about Part Island it’s that while the separation between the instruments is carefully observed, there can - even when the pace is slow and stoic - be an unwelcome feel that this whole album is trying to rush at you all at once. The closing cut - the album’s title piece - overcomes the issue with the most force and quickly becomes the longest lasting swathe of sound in evidence and while it does stand proudly above its album mates in terms of impact, there’s no doubt that you can delve into Part Island at any point and be intrigued and impressed. Latitudes are skilled craftsmen who have the potential to create something truly unique. Personally I’m not completely convinced that they’ve quite found the recipe here to achieve that admirable intention yet, but they aren’t far away.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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