Neck Of The Woods - The Passenger album review

Vancouver technicians stir up the prog cauldron

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Having grown up with the persistent clank’n’whirr of Devin Townsend’s constant creativity in their British Columbian ears, this quintet were never going to approach DM in a straightforward manner. Admittedly, there are numerous moments here that display their influences boldly and without apology; opener Bottom Feeder boasts a handful of flagrant Opeth-isms and Nailbiter hedges its bets between Bergen and Gothenburg, with a dash of Novembers Doom-like blood’n’ thunder thrown in. For the most part, however, Neck Of The Woods are too eclectic and astute to be easily labelled. Whether it’s White Coats’ deranged opening riff, You’ll Always Look The Same To Me’s midsong mellow detour or epic closer Before I Rest’s post-djent twinkling and hair-raising crescendos, this is an assured slab of stylish and progressive extremity from an obscenely talented band with shitloads of potential.