Le passage des glaciers 
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The tracks are spell-binding. They tumble down the glacier like a moraine, but they also instantiate that flow – the opening riff tells you exactly what you are in for. When one thinks of glaciers, one thinks of hunks of ice. But this ice is alive, crackling with life, like the wiry guitar-driven opening to ‘Namolennye’. This is death metal played low, slow, and with an eye towards drone. And it’s all done in a profoundly natural way, with very few shiny baubles and tricks – which makes it all the more impressive that this album never sags. The musicians in Norilsk seem to have perfected the art of knowing when to make subtle changes in the music to avoid any moments of distraction.
-Echoes and Dust
Norilsk, named after what is considered the coldest and most polluted place in the world (seriously, look it up), manage to conjure up images of isolation and winter while still writing songs that work. This is no small task considering there are no interludes or filler that are just there to try and set the stage. Just a constant unifying vision of a lonely, harsh winter.
The band relies on an icy death-doom that subtly adds touches of sludge. Their impending album, Le Passage des Glaciers, arrives November 24 from Hypnotic Dirge Records. The first available track, named "Nammolennye", captures the frigid aesthetic of the album. Moments of the song capture a funereal minimalism of single drum hits and guitar string plucks. Other instances come down like an avalanche of riffs and rolls.
The Idea of North 
It's one thing to write good music; it's a whole other thing to invent a new language, a new aesthetic, where song writing, atmosphere and individuality coalesce and give birth to this strange new kid on the block. The album's purity, its absolutely conservative methodology, clashing with newer, progressive ideas, allows it to sound traditional but also like a completely new experience, a new sonic language.
Mysterious, heavy, slightly bizarre and desolate, "The Idea of North" is a strange album depicting strange vistas; its fuzz uplifting, its growls and sad lullabies dispiriting -- and when mixed, they herald a new dawn for doom/death metal.
-Chronicles of Chaos
For those that have an unyielding grasp on the world of doom, The Idea of North is an adventurous trip through forbidding landscape of the northern Canadian wilderness, with painfully slow death-doom and melancholic melodies in the vein of Thergothon and My Dying Bride. All things considered, this is some brilliant sonic worship.
-Doomed and Stoned
Canadian duo Norilsk are one of plenty healthy and upcoming formations out of Quebec, creating sordid musical landscapes that manifest towering grooves, epic melodies and desolate, sludgy passages in the space between.
-Extreme Metal Voyager
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
The Idea of North' is absolutely everything you need or want from a doom album. Norilsk are a rare band in that they manage to punish you with pace but add enough melody and style to keep you captivated. This album is the soundtrack to a grim fate, layered with atmosphere and a truly ferocious vocal performance, it may be slow but it makes for an exhilarating listen.
The Idea of North keeps an identity that is mostly their own while keeping things quite diverse for a doom metal album. Some may be caught off guard by the approach, but the band embraces their own melancholy and it works. With many of the doom variety often playing to a certain audience, it’s nice to see a band think outside of the box, particularly when it’s their first true attempt at it.
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. ...
A definite early contender for my 2015 'most essential' shortlist.
© Norilsk - 2017