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Excellent Atmospheric Sludge - 92%

EndlessTorment, January 10th, 2014

With their second full-length recording Sydney five piece Adrift for Days evoke an atmosphere comparable to the condition described by their name. Come Midnight... is the perfect companion to 2010's The Lunar Maria, with similar artwork, near-identical playing time and even longer songs, and with each one Adrift for Days create a sense of harrowing disquiet and lurking fear. The opening three-part saga-length track creeps along at a glacial pace with a section deep into the second movement that actually sounds like a ship becalmed at sea, floating at the mercy of a slow-moving current.

"Gravity Well" drips along even more slowly still, with distant vocals and entwining, jangly guitar notes until a savagely distorted riff suddenly erupts at the exact halfway point, leading to lead guitar runs soaring above a thunderous drone until everything subsides again right near the end. It's a singularly excellent exercise in atmospheric sludge, but the journey has only just begun.

"House of Cards" then edges out of the silence with a crawling menace, a baleful aura starkly reminiscent of the Bad Seeds with Mick Kaslik conjuring an eerie Nick Cave-like vocal reading that carries through the short but bleak-sounding "The Stonebreaker"; in "Back of Beyond" twin guitars toll like bells of doom ringing out over the squalling of harsh desert winds. Finally, the immense "Eyes Look Down From Above" leaks out of some miserable place with a slow and slowly building drone, exploding into crashing guitars and howling shrieks then into tortured ambience, dissonance and screams for most of its 19-minute length until winding down into sweet silence. For the uninitiated, the diSEMBOWELMENT/Bad Seeds hybrid Adrift for Days has conceived may prove to be incomprehensible, but for those who know, it is a masterpiece.

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