Here at Don't Count On It Reviews, you can read reviews from different artists from different styles.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Northless - Clandestine Abuse (2011)

Band: Northless
Country: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Style: Sludge/Doom Metal
Label: Gilead Media

Brutality can sometimes be a hammer over your head, or it can be consistently pounding, the latter is what I would describe this album to be. You'll find moments that will crush you and plunge you further and further down, but it's not like you're going to be just demolished into dust for the entire disc. Doom and sludge metal I don't think was ever meant to be a seismic blow to the head, it should still have good songs.
Something I found interesting on here was how good the songs actually were, not that I didn't think they'd be good, but each one was just always good at giving a solid riff while never sounding monotonous or repetitive. Tracks also have this very crusty vibe to them that I really enjoyed, it definitely made this record feel a lot more energetic. Along with that, I can also vouch for the different influences that also come through that definitely make this no ordinary doom/sludge record, with a post-rock breakdown in the title-track, Clandestine Abuse, or small mathcore and hardcore riffs popping up in almost every track on here at some point, it's on pretty much every track so just listen to Sundower. The different sounds add a different vibe to the record because there are variations in the speed and tempo of these songs that goes beyond slow and really slow.
I don't think it's a stretch to say that what's on here is pretty traditional in terms of sound, it's heavy like doom and sludge should be; and there are a few parts that do allow softer passages to come in as well. It's honestly a nice example of a slower band, and I'm referring to newer bands here, going out on a limb and trying out some new ideas instead of trying to be just doom, just sludge, just post-metal. Hence the repeated use of the word crushing, it's on tracks like Damnation that I found that word applied the most, what with it's heavy grooves and intense drumming.
Overall, I really enjoyed this album, for a doom record, it was one of the few this year that didn't wear on me. It really just goes above and beyond what most doom metal groups nowadays do for an album. If you like doom, sludge, crust, or even hardcore, this comes highly recommended from me.
Overall Score: 9
Highlights: Not Made For Existence, Empty Home, The Storm

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