Named after Siberia’s northernmost city, home of a famous heavy metal smelting complex, Norilsk is a doom-death band from Gatineau (Québec), Canada. After releasing an EP, Japetus, in July 2014, Norilsk now unveils their debut album - “The Idea of North” in a glorious digipack edition on Hypnotic Dirge Records.
“The Idea of North” is a doom-death album crafted for the winter season: it has slow and crushing riffs, death growls, and atmospheric arrangements. An evocation of an ominous presence over a vast wasteland, “The Idea of North” is a massive offering that triggers the imagination. Its music draws comparison with doom-death bands such as My Dying Bride, Morgion and Ablaze in Hatred, but it also has a few atmospheric sludge/post metal elements reminiscent of Isis and Morne.
Inspired by the multi-faceted Canadian experience of the North, and assembled into a cold yet dynamic sequence of eight individual songs, the album explores themes of darkness, isolation, identity, archaism and persistence—thus delivering a fresh perspective over the cliché Nordic imagery in metal in general.
“The Idea of North” was recorded at Studio En-Phase in Montreal by Jean-Philippe Latour (Paroxysm, Fuck the Facts, Talamyus), and mixed at Pebble Studios in Ottawa by Mike Bond (Dissentient, Endemise, Loviatar, Signs of Chaos), while the artwork was designed by professional artist Sam Ford, who also designed album artworks for Black Cobra, Witch Mountain and Monarch, among others.
Aside from the gorgeous two-panel cover and interior art pieces, the splendid digipak also contains all lyrics and translations (English and French), for worldwide fans of death-doom to enjoy the bitter taste of the Great White North.
The first 100 copies of the album sold comes with an 11cm x 7cm Norilsk sticker, and the first 40 copies of the album come with a full-color 43cm x 28cm Norilsk poster - a commissioned depiction of the doomed Franklin ship, which was lost at sea in 1845 searching for a Northwest passage to the pacific ocean and was finally discovered 169 years later in 2014 by a team of Canadian archaeologists.
"The album, as a whole, is a slow moving glacier, much like the Japetus EP that came before it, but it is much thicker, longer, and brutally unforgiving, not stopping its steady march from the Northern mountains to the Northern ocean, where it will continue as icebergs destined to down ships. It’s a ride that you can’t just hop onto and off of when you are ready. This is an album full of nuance and attention to detail, and should be played as such, preferably with headphones. Throw in a doomed cover of a Belgian pop song, and you’ve got yourself a damn near perfect listen. Beyond recommended, I will probably go through two copies of this album this year alone."
-Crown of Viserys
"And one of the great strengths of 'The Idea Of North' is that it never sounds like a collection of ideas in search of a home: quite the opposite, in fact. There's a completeness in the way it grabs initial attention with the rousing, sludgy stomp of the first half, then evolves into a more chilly and thoughtfully introspective atmospheric beast (in places, even reminiscent of Dolorian); like a snow-fanged apocalypse avalanching across the world, leaving the last survivors huddled in the frozen wastes of its wake. The band call it 'crafted for the winter season', but by the visceral and lonely conclusion of the title track it seems quite possible that winter will be eternal."
"This hour-long ode to the Arctic is a monolithic jamfest, through and through. From beginning to end, The Idea of North is a fantastic example of what modern doom metal should sound like. Thick, slow as molasses, and greatly atmospheric, Norilsk’s debut has exactly what it takes to land this band a spot in any doom metal fan’s list of bands to look out for."
-Heavy Blog is Heavy
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