NPR logo

Hear "Clandestine Abuse"

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/133840457/133844194" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Song Premiere: Northless, 'Clandestine Abuse'

Viking's Choice

Song Premiere: Northless, 'Clandestine Abuse'

Hear "Clandestine Abuse"

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/133840457/133844194" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Download [Windows: Right-Click and "Save Link As"; Mac: Control-Click]

Northless Courtesy of Gilead Media hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Gilead Media

Northless

Courtesy of Gilead Media

What's it like to be huge? I'm talkin' woolly-mammoth-riding-a-humpback-whale-through-Stonehenge huge. I'm talkin' the kind of mass that overwhelms in the nearly literal sense: to "defeat completely." The Milwaukee sludge-metal band Northless comes about damn close to this hugeness, as far as I can tell, on its debut album, Clandestine Abuse.

The riff that launches the title track is one of those Elephants Marching riffs that the folks at MetalSucks (and I) enjoy so much. It tramples in slow motion, but also levitates in the midst of a crushing melody, akin to the '90s post-hardcore heroes in Quicksand. The surprise of the song comes at 2:23 with some clean, technical guitar that's less bulky math-metal and more like Faraquet's dizzying arrhythmic riffing. But, in spite of one less distorted guitar, Northless is still overwhelmingly heavy, a woolly mammoth in search of its humpback whale.

Clandestine Abuse comes out March 15. You can pre-order the album at Gilead Media.

NPR thanks our sponsors