Debemur Morti Productions is known for their ability to take risks as a label. They’ve signed bands from various genres such as neo-folk acoustic outfit, Tamerlan, Archgoat (no explanation needed), and epic traditional metal band, Sons of Crom. UK’s Latitudes is another band on the label pushing boundaries.
Latitudes began as a somewhat crude sludge band with prog undertones, but morphed into full on post metal with their first full length release, Agonist. I generally have a great deal of disdain for any genre of music that describes themselves as “post-metal” because of the pretentiousness associated with it. I only make rare exceptions. Latitudes had me wanting to hate their latest effort, Old Sunlight, so badly but I just couldn’t.
Old Sunlight is a bleak progression from the band’s last album, Individuation. Old Sunlight relies more heavily on emotion and atmosphere than on brightness or technicality. The main complaint listeners have on Latitude’s prior releases in the lack of vocals. Old Sunlight, however, does feature neatly sprinkled vocals throughout it. Again, I wanted to hate the vocals in some places, specifically in Body Within a Body, because of their similarities with more radio friendly rock vocals, but for some reason, they fit. I didn’t hate them.
Old Sunlight sets a mood much more subtle than something like hopelessness. The feeling is more like repressed desperation. Bleakness is exemplified by stripped down production and emotive climaxes. The tracks are long, which results in many, Opeth like progressions. This is one of those albums that has you repeating portions of songs. But, if you can, try and avoid that because the tracks build up in such in memorable way. In fact, the whole album should be enjoyed as a whole. This work is intelligent in a way the transcends the song level, although In Rushes Bound and Altar Pieces are great as stand alone works as well.
The real appeal to this album is the addition of the vocals, even though they could be objectively described as gay. They add to the atmosphere though, and fit nicely with the progressions. Even though several of the tracks are quite long, patience isn’t really needed when listening to this album because Latitudes has a way of making every progression interesting in and of itself. They don’t lazily insert lengthy intermissions of feedback the way many bands within the genre do. In its totality, Latitude’s third full length album takes you on an interesting journey that have simultaneously questioning your tastes as well as zoning out. I guess if post-metal must exist, it should sound like this.