Whiplash – noun – 1. the whip of a lash. 2. an abrupt snapping motion or change of direction resembling the lash of a whip. 3. Also, whiplash injury. A neck injury caused by a sudden jerking backward, forward, or both, of the head. As miserable images of grief, sorrow and blame fill the air around me on this night, nothing has been keeping me company as well as Alaskans’ “Adversity; Woe”. Hailing from the one country that seems like it has no stress, Canada is the breeding ground for some of the best Atmospheric Sludge you’ll hear in a very, very long time. Suspended in the air for all to witness it’s dominating attitude, “Adversity; Woe” is the debut full-length from these leaders of the new world. It’s simple math, when a band releases a record of this caliber, you begin to wish that no more records were created, only because you want to spin it over and over and over again.
As I sit in a nearly pitch black room, only the laptop screen and the blue light off my subs giving me light, I sit and ponder on what I really want to do while I listen to this record. My mind relaxes in a state of confusion with no real escape. As the intro to the record, “Realisation”, hums it’s way into my speakers, the mass volume is something similar to Ahab except filled with much more toughness and fat. Once “Congonhas”, the second track on the record, starts blasting towards my face at a full on sprint, it hits me on what I should be doing while I let this record sink in. Normally I write out what a record is making me feel then chop it up in wordpad, add little things here and subtract certain lines to make it look presentable. So, what did “Adversity; Woe” have me doing? It had me daydreaming of marvelous oceans filled with ships that were indestructible and waves that hit peaks of two miles high. Think of it as this, the speakers that you have connected to your laptop or in your car, that’s where you live. As the bass lines shatter and shake your whole house, you can’t help but grab onto anything that’s valuable to you. The screams literally rip your house from the ground and launch it miles away, only for you to still be in the house, shaking in misery of what just happened.
The positive thing is that as much of this record is a huge storm, you will get about three tracks that are calm on your chest, easy to listen to and will drift you away into lullaby land as they play. The into track, “Realisation”, the third track “Disruption” and the sixth track “Interruption”, help you escape all of the thunder, phenomenal strikes of lightning and the winds that nearly destroyed your home board by board. By the time the storm is over, you start to slowly crawl out of your once beautiful, now destroyed and decaying home, you realize everything you owned is gone and you’ll never see it again. “Mecca”, the last track on the record, does an amazing job at comforting your body as its still in a state of shock but also slapping some sense into you to wake up and realize you still have life in your lungs.
The teacher has done his job and I really hope you took notes class because this lesson will never be taught again in a way or manner such as this. Alaskan is the one band that can rip your home from the earth and send you flying for miles upon miles. Letting you crash to the ground with no hope of survival but they still let you escape with life in your bruised and beaten lungs.