By on 31 May 2011


Today is the day! No, not Steve Austin’s legendary three-piece of noisy chaos, we’ve done that. Not that they wouldn’t deserve another go, but let’s leave a bit of room for the young and hungry wolves now, and this pack in particular seem like the sort of band that we might eventually be talking about in the same reverential tone we use for Steve. So, today is the day that the pre-order for the brand new Alaskan full-length debut, entitled ‘Adversity; Woe’, is finally available.

This is a big deal. I had already considered picking these three dudes from Ottawa in various states of beardom for band of the week when I came in contact with their awesome ‘The Weak And The Wounded’ EP, a tape I got from bandcamp (it’s still available, by the way, and they still have a demo before that if you’re a completist, which you will be after a listen to this) for a number of reasons, the main of which being because I dug the unpleasantly real cover. I have been all giddy about bands with a four-song demo enough to select them for this little space of mine before, but somehow I felt that I should wait for the motherload to drop with these guys. And, to come neatly full-circle, today is the day.

‘Adversity; Woe’ improves muchly on the EP, not by changing their style much, as they’re still an ultra-heavy, complex yet raw-sounding sludgy beast, but by broadening their emotional and atmospheric palette dramatically. The album features a few short and sombre interludes where they allow themselves some acoustics, but the main body of it are the several epics which those shorties help piece together. Alaskan’s songs envelop and crush you in the manner of Rorcal or Black Sheep Wall, or even the sadly missed Buried Inside at the more subtly melodic moments, with dense layers of anguish and slow devastation being piled on you until you let go and let yourself be washed away by them. At the same time, their neckbreaking, unrelenting quality easily matches other stuff like, say, Enabler, Nails or the previously featured Young And In The Way in sheer ballsy intensity,

I could just throw a bunch of genres at it, but somehow post-metal or atmospheric sludge or whatever combination of such reductive terms fails to make justice to the way the album as a whole hits you. The underlying concept of adversity and tribulation and the way the songs heave and seethe to its various moods, alternating vast movements and total immediacy, grant it such dynamic that Alaskan feel like a veteran band on top of their game. For a debut album, there’s really no higher praise. Go get the damn thing already. Today is the fuckin’ day.

About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

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