Review: North – Light the Way

North by North North. I am consumed by the upward direction.

I happened to find North on a “Discover Weekly” playlist that Spotify puts together based on your listening habits (a truly accurate and excellent band-discovery tool). It chose a song off of the yet-to-be-released Light the Way, and I was instantly both hooked and disappointed that I didn’t have access to the full album. While I waited patiently for the 18th to come around, I checked out some of their back catalog, which to be perfectly honest, made me second guess my excitement. Some of the stuff there was good, like all the ingredients were there, but I was anticipating an epic release. I wouldn’t be writing this review if my expectations weren’t exceeded. If music gave out the semi-backhanded compliment award that is “most improved” I would hand it to North.

Light the Way starts with a two-minute intro track that assures you that what is coming is undoubtedly sludgy post-metal. The second song, the album titled track, starts with a melodic intro then gets right to business with a monstrous slow-and-steady riff. Almost immediately, you can pick out resemblances to ISIS with the punctuated and booming vocals that match perfectly with the heavy drone (one of the areas that I see as a massive improvement over their previous work). Over the top of this base layer, the lead guitar takes a more melodic approach, which ISIS tended to save for the apex of their songs, but North keep as a staple throughout the whole album. The 8+ minute track (the perfect length for most great post-metal songs, if you ask me) has three distinctive sections that give you you an idea of the range of this band. “Light the Way,” as the true opening track for the album, is the perfect guide, in a sense.

“Weight of All Thoughts” and “Earthmind” keep the pace of the album slow, heavy, and loud. “Primal Bloom”, the next required listen, opens with one excellently catchy riff that just keeps growing with the rest of the song. Short and sweet, this song picks up the tempo and even includes something resembling a guitar solo, though I am hesitant to call it that since it still heavily relies on the weight of the bass and drum. It makes sense that North started as an instrumental group. You can tell they have great experience at making their more melodic side fill the requirements of vocals in creating a memorable tune. With vocals added, they thankfully kept this habit as well.

Smart album structuring has them give our ears a break with an interlude song, which leads into “On a Beaten Crooked Path,” one of the more stoner-doomy tracks on the album with fuzz playing a key role. “From this Soil,” the second longest track on the album, again takes you past the oft-narrowed range of post-metal on all sides.

With Light the Way, North have jumped up an unthinkable amount in the ranks of their doom/post/sludge metal peers. By no means are they reinventing a genre here, but it is the definition of a solid genre-album. With a 46-minute run time, the album has perfect pacing and feels complete without anything being overdone. In one album, North seem to have refined their sound and figured out exactly how to incorporate vocals into it. I don’t believe I have ever given a rating on a review before, mostly because I would have to explain my reasoning to feel justified in doing so, but in short, North put themselves toward the top of the scene with this album and so deserve

4.5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

NEW_TOILETSCALE_4-5_of_5

North are currently on tour with Intronaut and Scale the Summit, check dates here.

Facebook

Bandcamp

Written by:

Published on: March 23, 2016

Filled Under: Reviews

Views: 1352

Tags: , , ,

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    The North will rise!!!!!!

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      This guy looks like he bangs his sister while listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        But the odd part is, he think’s of you while doing it. Crazy, amirite?

      • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

        JJD plz! Lynyrd Skynyrd is a good band!

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          I like them. I’m just making a joke.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            JJD, plz! Don’t make jokes!

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            JJD, plz!

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            JJD, plz!

        • are they? …. ARE THEY?

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            Yes. Yes they are.

            At least, they used to be.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Jimmy plz! Lynyrd Skynyrd are real artists!

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            FrankWhiteKingOfNY plz! You sound way too sarcastic

          • CyberneticOrganism

            They are not.

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            CyberneticOrganism plz!!!

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            CyberneticOrganism plz! The debut album is a classic!

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            And they were kind enough to give us a Second Helping!

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Hahaha!

        • Sir Tapir The Based

          It’s not tho.

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            Tapir plz!

    • CyberneticOrganism

      ” ‘ey man, you want some meth?”

  • Dubs

    I enjoyed this album and definitely think it’s an improvement on their older material. Well done, YLIF.

    • YourLogicIsFlushed

      🙂

  • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

    Excellent review! This album popped up on my bandcamp feed a while back and I stored it in the “to be listened to” list. I will have to move this one towards the top.

    Does anyone else think the candles in the cave are kinda goofy looking?

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Given the fact the candles are a “drawing” yes. Looks goofy and lazy a shit.

      • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

        I like the idea, but it would benefit from actual candles, methinks.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Yeah, I do too, but the fake candles just give it a cheap vibe. Oh well.

      • Dubs

        I didn’t notice it looking at a much smaller thumbnail, but it is kind of silly looking at a bigger shot.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Yeah, it is what it is, but just looks campy.

    • YourLogicIsFlushed

      It reminds me of the cave in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where they find the bunny, but with their weird transition scene drawings merging with the live action.

    • A black void would have been good enough. Sunn O)))) did it right. Emptiness FTW.

      https://f1.bcbits.com/img/a3280996547_16.jpg

      • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

        Give way to the void, all thee in despair.

        • Ay, you a’ite Boss-Man.

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            I am honored.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      I like it, looks like an intro to a bizarre animation sequence

      • “well guys, we consumed all of our artwork budget taking this stellar photograph. know anybody gud at Photoshop?”
        “nope, i’ll throw something together in Paint rill quick.”

        • Dubs

          The quality of the candles kind of reminds me of the Couch Slut cover.

          In other news, hit up FB. I have a question for you.

        • CyberneticOrganism

          At least there’s no Dong in there… yet

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            I feel a disturbance in the force… a eerie feeling that someone is working on this.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            *dong’d*

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            Perfect

        • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

          accurate

  • Paris Hilton

    Light the way- with Clip Art! High Quality, Easy to Use, and Fun! haha this band isn’t for me, personally, but the review is well written and im just poking fun at the art. Just tryna have some cheeky bantz.

  • Digging this YLIF, the Isis comparisons got my interest. Primal Bloom has got some massive riffs.

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    I don’t know if I can take a guy who commends the Spotify Weekly Recommendations list seriously. Even if that’s just a joke.

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    The review is good, going to check the album out too, but haven’t listened to more three post- bands actively for some time now, burned out.

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Post-anything will do that. It’s just too much art to endure.

      • when Guppusmaximus and i invent the “super-like” button, ima have to come back and administer one to this comment.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          You’re a good man for saying that.

      • Dubs

        I enjoy the artful quality of it and think that, when done right, it can be really powerful, but post metal, at least to someone who listens to it a fair amount, seems to be a very, very bloated genre. There are quite a few post metal bands that pop up with new releases each week, and most of them are just middling copy-cats of Isis/Neurosis/The Ocean.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          It just seems so arty, and I do mean that seriously and sarcastically. Just too pretentious, like a live Watain show. And the three bands you listed is where it should stop.

          • Hubert
          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            This shit just puts me to sleep. Not saying it’s garbage, just not my thing.

          • Dubs

            Cult of Luna are one of my favorites actually. Very intricate work, but it’s definitely more contemplative/less headbanging immediacy.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            We do have many likes alike.

          • Dubs

            I’ve noticed this, recently.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Yeah, I get that vibe.

          • Dubs

            Different strokes, and all that.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            So, the old story goes……

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Different strokes are fine, but don’t tell me you can’t appreciate the musicianship of this band.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-sYWaOrLdI

          • GAH!

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Hahaha. You fucking bastard.

          • Y U do dis?

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            KJM plz! Coal Chamber are a succesful nu metal band!

          • Dubs

            I think there’s a probably a lot of pretense in a lot of genres, to be fair.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Yeah, you and I have echoed things like this among all genres. They have their quirks and always will.

  • Spear

    *hits play*
    *wishlists*
    *wishlist reaches 801 items*
    God dammit.

  • COAL ROLL

    there’s that fuzzy guitar tone that I can’t stand again.

    • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

      Haha!
      By the way, Skeltonwitch are playing through Blackstar amps now.

      • Dave Vincent’s Perm

        They still use a JCM blended with a peavey bandit practice amp in the studio though.

    • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

      pffff, id like to have one of these
      http://www.ehx.com/assets/png640h/big-muff-pi.png

      • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

        The sweet sweet tone.

      • GIMME.

      • COAL ROLL

        I have one of those.

        I prefer the Tube Screamer.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Well, that pedal worked for Tom G. and Euronymous.

          • Guide my sword… Hey!!! I said, hey!!!

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            I said, HEEEEEEYYYYYYYYYEYEYEEEEEEEEEEE

          • I really need to get that Only Death Is Real book.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            It’s really rad.

          • COAL ROLL

            You can’t go wrong with one plugged into a JCM800

      • It can be yours for like 45 bucks. Only problem is that you’re stuck with a shitty distortion pedal for the price.

        • Dave Vincent’s Perm

          Pfft, everyone knows the Metal Zone is the best pedal for the price.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Had one. Never care for it. This pedal kills though.

        • Yeah, but does it go to 11?

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Tyree, plz!

          • Goddamn it you son of a bitch!!!!

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Yeah, it’s going to get worn out faster than my mom’s cunt.

        • Wouldn’t mind having this and the Clyde pedal.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Never played the Clyde.

          • A friend had one, very nice especially if you’re a Robin Trower fan.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            To be fair the Fulltone dude is a Fender nut and a big Hendrix fan, so that makes total sense.

  • seriously, this slays. great review, great songs. but to scratch my digital itch it looks like i’m stuck with Amazon MP3…

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Maybe you need to scratch something else.

    • Boss the “Hoss” Ross
      • Boss the Ross, you and YLIF both get one free “kick JJM in the nuts” card, redeemable anytime

        • Can I have one too?

        • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

          Just looking out for you man.

    • YourLogicIsFlushed

      For why? It is on the ‘fy? Also ty.

  • Sick death metal out of Norway…

    https://filthdigger.bandcamp.com/album/demo-4-2016

    • Filthdigger. These guys succeeded at the name choosing game.

      • Agreed.

      • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

        but perhaps not at vocational choosing

      • CyberneticOrganism

        FILTHFVCKER

      • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

        Would you say you are digging this filth?

        • Haha, yes sir I am. Super young band with a lot of potential and energy.

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    Is it just me or is that notorious “other place” starting to look more and more like a ghost town by the week?

    • I’ve been there for a few premieres and there’s usually like 3 comments max.

    • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

      the sheeple are deserting

    • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

      If it’s Axl Poserberg’s site you’re talking about, fuck him.

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        Even all the good trolls left.

        • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

          I went there a month or so ago, and most of the articles are either ripoffs of TOH or Blabbermouth. Can’t fuck with the original, baby, Toilet Ov Hell is a pioneer! 😀

        • Haha I was about to say even M Shadows and Hester Kukk left.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Hester’s still around. He makes the occasional amusing comment.

          • more beer

            But he keeps trying and never gives up!

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            There have been moments where he really irritated me, but at times he can be quite fun as well. I guess that’s just the point of his schtick.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            RIP RiotAct666

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            The legend never dies.

          • more beer

            There is a bootleg version of him now.

          • Yeah, doesn’t do Hester’s schtick well at all.

          • more beer

            I fuck with Hester from time to time. He actually has a good sense of humor.

          • oh yeah, he is 100% invested in that schtick.

    • i pop in occasionally to upvote you and a few others. it’s pure anarchy tho.

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        There are a few good guys left, but there are a few assholes over there that really ruin all of the possible fun. Like that Canadian “YOU ALL HAVE BAD TASTE IN MUSIC!!!” guy.

        • i don’t think you’ve been here since the beginning, but this site basically started because a handful of nice people were tired of bickering in the comments.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Yeah I’ve heard all about the TOH history haha!

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            I found out about the site from random people commenting on there. Little did I know it’d be one of my top 5 sites.

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Then the nice people stopped commenting and the dicks started this site.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Oh you!

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            This is a disgusting image and I hope you get banned.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            OK, I’ll change it.

        • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

          Tapir?

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Hahaha no. Tapir was always witty. I don’t think you know the one I’m talking about. That guy’s not funny, he’s more being a straight up obnoxious douchebag.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Even worse than I did yesterday? :-p

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Hahaha! That was all in good fun. I don’t care if someone says a band I like is shit. That’s just someone else’s opinion.
            But that guy’s just really out to harass and insult others. He also comes across as a delusional fucktard.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Yep, that sounds about like MS!!!! I only go to a handful of websites most of the time. It’s either TOH, Fark (where I go for funny news stories. I’ve been a member there since 2002), Raw Story, Foodbeast, or TMZ most of the time.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            For me it’s beginning to be TOH all the way. With MS I mostly show up for the “Friday 5” posts, because that’s when GG Allin and Conan show up. The commenters showing up to those articles in general are mostly the ones who actually like to discuss music.

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            Conan is the man.

          • Dubs

            His ragequit speech for this site was pretty legendary.

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            I have only heard about it spoken in whispers…

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            GG Allin and Conan were the first two who showed me hospitality at that site. GG and I also share a common love for Deftones haha!

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Conan shows up here and there. I’m friends with him on FB, and try to get him over here. :-p

            I wish my friend Dave (the cookie monster on Blabbermouth) would pop up, and I’ve tried to get him to.

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Also I’m not Canadian.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Canada, Finland = both imaginary countries.

          • Took the words right out of my filthy ginger mouth.

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Ewww you’re a ginger?

          • Unfortunately, I was born with this curse. Fortunately, everyone around me must suffer through my appearance as well.

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            I’ll have to reserve a place in the gulag for you.

          • his doge makes up for it.

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Truuuuuu

        • more beer

          There are also a lot of millennials there who feel things should just be handed to them. I have gotten bombarded for saying that if people can’t find a job because they got a degree that is more useless than toilet paper. Should learn a trade. Which is something that pays well and you can live on. They think that their college should be paid for and everything handed to them. But I guess that is the target audience.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            I saw that discussion. I previously had an argument with that guy you were discussing with as well. Don’t really have a personal problem with him anymore.

            You also know the guy I’m talking about though. He was insulting construction workers and has a retarded sentence structuring.

          • more beer

            But yet he thinks he is more of a super genius than Wiley Coyote.

          • Getting a job is the worst reason to go to college, and that’s from several friends who are professors.

          • more beer

            Also people tend to change professions at least 2 or 3 times throughout their lifetimes. But putting down working people, while supporting a welfare state is ridicules. Which is what I was getting. How do they fund their welfare state without working peoples taxes?

          • The whole point of a welfare state is to help working people when they are down. As you say, supporting one but not the other is hypocrisy.

          • more beer

            That is the thing helping people when they are down. It is not a career. For generations to live off of and not contribute.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            About that, though……….. It’s federal law now that if you’re not taking care of a child, working under 80 hours a month, or on disability, SNAP is limited to 3 months. Back home, I’ve known many people who were on SNAP for years with no real reason for it. Benefits are definitely getting cut.

          • more beer

            I am not against these things for people who need it. But it is not a way of life. I have to get up and go to work and buy my own food. Why should I buy food for people who are just lazy? I see people buying more food at one time with food stamps then I buy in 3 months. I pay more in taxes by being single and not having kids. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? As I am less of a burden on society. Since I don’t get any government services. These benefits need to be cut. People need to start taking responsibility for their own lives. It is not the job of government to make sure anyone makes it in life.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            I’m unemployed. but I’ve been pretty much lazy. 🙁

          • more beer

            I don’t have that option. No matter how lazy I want to be. I still need to pay my bills and eat. Plus just being a metalhead is expensive. Music, shows, merch and beer aren’t free. I don’t know how you do it. I hate being broke.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            My family helps, otherwise I’d be fucked right now. Rent is taken care of, as well as my phone, and I get a small allowance.

          • more beer

            I don’t have that option. My family would tell me to go fuck myself and get a job. They helped me when I was sick and in the hospital for 2 weeks and then couldn’t work for another 2. But as soon as I was better it was back to work.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            I’m thankful I have that option, but it wears down on me after a while, considering how independent I’m used to being. Hopefully I’ll get some calls soon. 🙁

    • Ironically, metalinjection seems to be doing much better and actually posting original content whereas MS is just posting about gossip-y stuff still.

      • They did a pretty cool black metal thing the other month. Touched on some essential albums.

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        Yeah I went to metalinjection a week ago, but I never comment there. Place can be a straight up warzone as well.

        • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

          MI is the TMZ of metal, pretty much. Last time I was there (almost a year ago), they were doing “OMG Kim Kardashian is wearing something metal!” articles.

        • more beer

          That is what makes that site fun.

    • more beer

      Unless an article has to do with social justice or a Japanese j pop band with guitars. I will say it serves them right for being a bunch of self righteous pricks.

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        The “SJW” or “person X said something about person Y” articles really are the only things that still generate them enough clicks.

        • more beer

          Yep. Like I said it serves them right. With any luck they will be out of business soon.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Better get Hulk Hogan and Bubba The Love Sponge’s wife on ’em!

          • more beer

            Hulk Hogan is to busy rolling around in his piles of cash. To be bothered.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Only in Florida could that settlement happen.

          • more beer

            They should give that much money to anyone who saw that by accident. Oh the horror.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Whatcha gonna do, brother, when the most ‘roid shrinked dick in the world goes wild on you?

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            PS, still keeping my Hulk Hogan’s Boot Camp CD!

            https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-PdUU-mU5BIISfAjJ1MPPGoiUxFj0d9f

    • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

      For what it’s worth, I’m glad you crossed over King.

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        Believe me, I’m too.

        • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

          High five

    • Dave Vincent’s Perm

      The other place <<<<<<<<
      Fukk hakk Axl!

    • CyberneticOrganism

      The MS comments are worse than youtube now. Racist antisemitic homophobic garbage everywhere.

  • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

    the caveman grunge yells ruin dis for me

  • The_Dude

    Really glad you wrote about this cause I listened to the single just like you mentioned and was blown away. Then I totally forgot about it thanks for the reminder!