Full album stream: Northless – Clandestine Abuse

This is the full album stream for Northless’ Clandestine Abuse.

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This stream has closed.

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I am picky about sludge metal, and I have picked Clandestine Abuse (Gilead Media / Halo of Flies, 2011). My main complaint about sludge is that it’s often musically uninteresting. It’s great for “Urrrrrrrgh”, but Eyehategod owns “Urrrrrrrgh”. I don’t need to hear more variations on “Urrrrrrrgh” or Eyehategod.

But I do need to hear more interesting music. Out of nowhere – OK, Milwaukee – Northless have provided it. They’re part of a crop of young sludge bands going beyond “Urrrrrrrgh”, like Thou, haarp, Dark Castle, Salome, and Batillus. Brains are mixing with beards and beer guts.

Not to worry – this is still burlier than Saturday night at an SF bear club. The vocalist sounds ready to eat you alive. But there’s a whole lotta music coming from those downtuned strings. The album starts with a fist in the face, but it gradually goes deeper and deeper. Colors creep in: ’90s noise and math rock, pools of Godflesh feedback, the pain of Burning Witch, the salve of Isis. One passage had me thinking “Krallice, as played by cavemen”.

Then, out of nowhere – OK, Milwaukee – the record pulls out of its downward spiral. Melodies wax tender, and the growler starts singing. It’s wonderful: runner’s high after many miles, afterglow after rough sex. This is an album in the classic sense. It pulls you in and takes you on a journey. That’s why I’m presenting it as a single stream. Put it on, let it play, and drink deeply.

— Cosmo Lee

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Currently available only on gatefold orange double vinyl.
(Any plans for a digital release, Halo of Flies or Gilead Media?)

Halo of Flies
Gilead Media

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