Instrumental metal is associated in my mind with wanky musicianship trying to disguise their lack of songwriting with a multitude of riffs. One of the exception to the rule was Electro Quarterstaff, a Canadian « death metal » band with three guitarist and three times as many ideas than most bands. The new exception to my rule is now Latitudes, a British band I imagined being a basic post metal band but who are in reality an instrumental metal band taking influences from Isis and Cynic with a new black metal twist.
Although mostly devoid of vocals, some light singing interrupts the flow of the instruments with a softness similar to Paul Masdival (Cynic). Body within a body also features some touches of Scott Walker era Scott 3 whenever the singer pushes his voice from the reserved tone he mostly employs, and proves that Latitudes are excellent song writers despite the absence of any chorus or rock structure in their songs.
Since the monumental Individuation, Latitudes has become darker by embracing some black metal influences similar to the more progressive side of Nachtmystium‘s career. What has not changed is the band’s talent for writing monumental and memorable riffs to justify their name. It is surprising that Latitudes talent has not put them on the map for any fan of progressive and cinematic metal but Old sunlight should solidify their position as first class song writers. Despite Cult of Luna’s apparent return, the field of post metal has been mostly deserted now that being compared to Isis is not trendy anymore (not withstanding the association with the terrorist group of the same name) and Latitudes are perfect contenders for taking the crown. One of the first unmissable album of the year.