Sunday, August 14, 2011

ATRIARCH - Forever the End CD review

ATRIARCH - Forever the End CD
Seventh Rule
Genre: Doom/Drone
Rating: 5/5

I'm not much on aging wine but I do know about cooking. Whenever you make a home made soup or stew it takes time to cook in order to allow all of the various flavors of the ingredients to mingle. My homemade chili is the same way since it takes a whole day to cook and still it tastes better the second day. Certain styles of music follow a similar process. Take this latest one from Portland's ATRIARCH for example. When I first listened to this their debut full length my initial reaction was that of someone with ants crawling all over em. It was an annoying duo of crusty doom and drone slithering down some forgotten stretch of highway. The further away the better I thought, then again I did have a bad day. Now two days later I find this four song opus of their's to be an intriguing sonically dark ritual that sounds like it was unearthed from some ancient crypt with a Peter Murphy sound alike leading the ashen faced hooded followers lining the walls. It's still crusty with a thick layer of distortion and the gothic vocals but the atmosphere this creates is almost ceremonial. I'm listening to the opening cut "Plague" and I'm waiting for something weird to happen. The vocals almost sound as if there's some sort of conjuring going on as it bleeds into the following cut "Shadows".

ATRIARCH is kinda like a funeral doom version of BAUHAUS or post Only A Theatre of Pain era CHRISTIAN DEATH (yeah after guitarist Rikk Agnew left they just turned into a gothic turd) You just can't help but think "goth" but not in that modern Hot Topic sense. Nowadays since the term "goth" has gotten a bad rap you have these revisionist losers making up genre terms like "death rock" to avoid being honest. There's no such thing as death rock. At least no one in the underground punk zine community back in the day used the term. In the late 70s/early 80s we might've used the term "death punk" because that's what some bands called themselves but mainly people called it Goth or Gothic Rock. ATRIARCH does keeps things on a more metal plain by adding blackened harsh vocals and sometimes a GODFLESH style industrial edge like at the end of "Shadows". But on a whole the release keeps things varied with an array of textures which keeps the listener on edge. The guitar work is kept in check mostly (except when it comes crashing in like falling sheets of glass) leaving plenty of room for the bass playing to take it's prominent role. On "Fracture" the song slowly creeps along as if the arisen figure of Rozz Williams is walking towards you speaking poetic verses until your face to face and the claw like hands grip hold of your shoulders. I won't get too deep on what probably happens but suffice to say it's ghastly. The last cut "Downfall" follows a similar path. What a difference a few days makes.



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