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North: Light The Way

Arizona’s expansive sludge crew still seeking a new direction

North have been together for over 10 years but they’ve not been without their problems; the band found themselves reduced to a trio after the release of The Great Silence in 2012.

Light The Way finds them at a turning point and it should be an opportunity for them to bring back the fire they first felt. Unfortunately, the record struggles with most songs sounding too alike. Opener Moonswan and closer Relativity offer a little variation, with the tracks harking back to North’s early days as a strictly instrumental band and giving the album some light in the darkness.

On A Beaten Crooked Path marries Evan Leek’s bellowed growls with trudging progressions of guitar to create a bitter aura, and Weight Of All Thoughts does more of the same.

Light The Way should be an exciting expression of the turmoil that the band have been through but it never quite hits the mark and despite the heaviness, it feels a little flat.