Sunday, September 26, 2010

Horse Latitudes - Gathering (Aurora Borealis 2010)

Horse Latitudes are a new chapter in the aptly named N.W.O.F.H.M (coined by the awesome Jussi Lehitsalo of Circle/Pharaoh Overlord) bringing us doom heads a trippy, unique and ultra heavy take on doom. For starters the band is a three piece consisting of two bass players and a drummer so that alone generally points to HEAVY and according to the label, they are a blend of epic sludge and the more leftfield bands like Ride For Revenge and Urfaust with a hint of doom in the vocals. What variables in that equation don’t add up to completely fucking wicked!!!? And this is also one of the few times that the general description fits.

Several things upon listening stand out: the vocals are very much doom styled vocals, not sludge at all actually; the Sabbathian riffs being played out on a bass, more than likely also tuned down, give the muscle and impact needed to carry this heavy lethargic beast across it’s 50 minute span; and the production is deliberately minimal giving an almost genuine live feel but not poor demo quality lo-fidelity. At times I’m reminded of recent Aussie sludge act Atollah, where you can hear the actual pluck of the bass notes from underneath a film of sonic doom haze and the maze of effects glowing and echoing as they spiral about your consciousness.

The vocals are absolute lethargic and epic doom, but are spoken word in rhythm with the riffs and bass almost poetically, so if you were groaning a the sludge part you’ll be glad to know that this is more a of a psychedelic doom trio than stoner doom. Don’t get me wrong though, there’s definite similarities to Electric Wizard, especially in the almost spacey tripped out effects behind the basses, some of the vocals get raspy and almost whispered in spots adding an extra dimension to this fairly complex and surprisingly solid album. I guarantee that many of you will find much to enjoy on this 50 barrage of doom and LSD, so be sure to check them out and look for the album release in October.

For fans of:Ride For Revenge, Electric Wizard, Burning Witch, The Body, The Bottle Doom Lazy Band, Fall of the Idols, Saturnalia Temple, and even some SunnO))) but not any excessive drone; just epic, trippy, and lucid distorted visions of doom…absolute rumbling from the decrapitated bowels of doom.

Band site with audio:

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