French-Canadian purveyors of grief and suffering, Norilsk, return with their latest offering Le passage des glaciers. The album finds the band continuing its cacophonous doom and death metal while introducing elements of black metal and folk music.
The album is a dirge from the start; opening with "Midnight Sun," Norilsk sets the stage for a classic wintery doom record. Unlike doom bands who rely on feedback to get their message across, Norilsk employ a ton of variety. Balance is the band's greatest asset, as demonstrated on "Namolennye," an acoustic track that quickly evolves into a black metal frenzy, cleverly combining a plethora of metal sub-genres.
While the album gets a little weighed down in the middle with mid-tempo black metal, Norilsk pack in a few gems at the end. "L'érosion (Passage pt. II)," for example, is a solid highlight showcasing folk-infused doom metal like Neurosis's present sound. It would be interesting to see the band further expand on these ideas in future releases.
That said, Le passage des glaciers is a well-crafted and thoughtfully composed doom and death metal record. The band have further refined their sound in a way that feels effortless and honest, all while hinting at future possibilities. (Hypnotic Dirge Records)