Review: Latitudes – Part Island

A scant three years on from the vast Old Sunlight, it appears as though Latitudes have done what all bands hope to do, and moved upward with follow-up Part Island. Before you crack the champers, it’s worth understanding what that means. This Chris Fielding (Conan)-produced fourth record is its own thing, and while Latitudes themselves name-check a number of bands in their press release, Part Island can firmly stand on its own feet.

Resisting the temptation to defer to screaming in the heavy sections initially makes such weight seem excessive, if only because of the clean vocals’ manifest delicacy. ‘Moorland Is The Sea’ strikes a welcome balance, the subtly arpeggiating electronics giving it a truly dramatic cadence, with some unusual chord changes. Latitudes have always expressed their enjoyment of the cinematic, and indeed, those of you familiar with latter-day Ahab will find much to love here. ‘Fallowness’ is absolutely gigantic – a glittering serpent of a track, with a mid-section so disarming that your legs get swept away by the tumult at the end.

The hardest thing to process with Part Island is that, rather than sounding like two bands, or a heavy band with a light singer, it sounds as though Latitudes have one of the most dramatic, effervescently light bands lurking inside them, but they started playing heavy music first. Far from a condemnation, this is an extolling of how genuinely they treat both sides of the coin, and how naturally the clean vocals integrate into the most intense of parts, something exemplified by ‘The Great Past’. A truly intriguing album that divulges more and more of itself on each listen, there’s so much going on that you’ll come back to this many times and it’ll always surprise you. Great at first, then it gets better. Part Island, all ace.

Part Island is out now on Debemur Morti Productions. Purchase here.

Words: John Tron Davidson

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