Travel broadens the mind, but it’s hard to imagine the culture shock that Turbid North endured when they left their home in Alaska and relocated to the dusty, sun-scorched plains of Texas a few years ago.
Somehow, though, the impact of moving from subzero snowscapes to one of the hottest places in the US seems to have added more depth and power to this trio’s vicious blend of filthy thrash and hulking doom.
“Living in Alaska inspired me to write with more imagery and scale,” says frontman Nick Forkel. “It’s an amazing place, but it’s also cold and dark for six to eight months of the year. Being stuck inside for those long winters, all you could do was write riffs! Texas showed us what the ‘real’ music world is like. We love our little scene up in Alaska but when we got to Texas, we were babies. Being among a ton of killer local bands in Texas really humbled us and drove us to work harder. I still can’t stand the heat, but I’ll take it over -60˚ any day!”
Five years have passed since their second album, Orogeny, earned them a reputation as one of the most distinctive bands in the US underground. Their latest effort, Eyes Alive, is even more devastating, as Nick, bassist Chris O’Toole and drummer John Garrett crank up every aspect of their sound while ensuring that modern metal is reintroduced to the concept of a little dirt under its fingernails.
“There’s more dirtiness to newer bands in the scene over here,” Nick notes. “I think that whole super- polished sound is fading out and we’re gonna hear a lot more sludgy and punky tones on bands’ albums, which I really like. It gets me out to more shows, that’s for sure!”
Eyes Alive is available now via turbidnorth.com