Opening track Welcome to the North exudes foreboding with its Middle Eastern tinge and hovering theremin. Harvey somehow manages to sound like The Mars Volta’s Cedric Bixler and Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant all at once and maintains that full-tilt intensity throughout. On Bleed From Within he can barely contain himself, chanting over the ritualistic percussion like he’s gone into a trance.
Freedom Fighters and One Way In, No Way Out feature some monster riffs that see guitarist Adam Nutter living up to his name.
However, all is not well: drummer Phil Jordan’s repetitive shuffling robs them of potential power by sounding as if he’s playing with only one arm. When there is rhythmic variation, like on Cessation, it comes as a blessed relief.
The sheer density of Welcome To The North is somewhat baffling at first but repeated listens will reveal a deep vein of melodic richness and an infectious cosmic optimism.
— Luke McKay