On their new record надлом — the title of which appears to roughly translate as “breaking down” — the Saint Petersburg, Russia group север perform delicately pained, melody-centric screamo that feels poignant.
The group’s frequently slower tempoed music isn’t overwhelming. Instead, the group seems to focus on exploring everyday moments when emotions like pain, escapism, hope, and disappointment blend and bleed together, leaving an impression of struggling to find some kind of real emotional stability. In their gentler, clearly breathable and livable moments, север sound honestly committed to personal expression, which makes надлом’s experience feel brighter than it might otherwise. Hints of math rock-style contemplation emerge in the rhythms, and the pensive intricacy makes the listening experience feel truly vibrant, as if wandering the streets with friends and talking through life’s problems.
The music of надлом consistently runs on lush and shimmering yet tense rhythms. The songs frequently build up into a hanging cloud of rather expansive tension, with a consistently weighty atmosphere. Track three, for instance, starts out on a brisk note before slowing down and roaring back for its final approach, and as the song closes out, a smattering of ferocious instrumentation returns — but the emotionally aching rhythms also remain front and center in the music.
Overall, the guitar riffing feels inwardly propulsive, with a crisp vibe that feeds into the emotionally stormy music rather than jutting out on its own. The songs feel emotionally hard-hitting. Much of track four, for instance, maintains a rather brisk tempo — as if, perhaps, rushing along through some snowstorm while struggling with some kind of deeply set emotional weight. The music’s emotionally palpable breadth feels immersive, like musical wisps of smoke slowly filling up a room.
There’s a confrontationally inescapable feeling in the music’s perspective. Amidst the bracing briskness of the music’s extended, post-rock atmosphere, there’s an outpouring of a richly captivating and desperate energy. север deliver a sizable helping of dynamic variety, which helps firmly establish the richly personalized urgency as they veer between brisker rhythms and contemplation, with an upturned feeling throughout the musical leaps as if consistently lunging for a peace that’s just out of reach.
The music, with its strong and immersive melodies, feels like an embrace of an emotional ether and a subtly triumphant exploration of emotional desperation. Moments like a sizable portion of track eight lean into peace, and there’s a hint of some brighter energy in those more math rock-adjacent parts, as if capturing the feeling just after a thunderstorm stops bearing down across surroundings.
Listen to надлом below!