Split, 20 Buck Spin / Seventh Rule Recordings
April 17th, 2012
Genre: Doom Metal / Death Rock
I fucking love "Forever The End" to death, so I was eager to hear more material from Atriarch. And here we have it in the form of a split with a "death rock" band known as Alaric who I've never heard before this.
Side A is all Alaric's with three 5 minute tracks. I really didn't know what to expect especially with the tag "death rock". When Atriarch started getting some buzz they were said to have death rock influences but I still didn't quite get that impression; the vocals are gothic-esque so maybe that was where the comparison lays. So would it be gothic rock with death/doom metal?
Anyway I went into their side of the split open-minded and curious. There's a psychedelic emphasis in their sound what with the heavy effects on the guitars, how they're used and the somewhat tribal drum patterns. A little like Chelsea Wolfe minus the folk. Vocally it's more on the clean side and a bit raspy (all lyrics are easy to make out, though a little cheesy) while the bass has a nice crunch, springy and stands out well. The length of the songs are perfect for what's going on: lots of droning, hazy riffs that are simple with a touch of prog, occasionally slowing down but never reaching a doom pace (though the feeling of doom permeates the atmosphere, more old school if anything).
There are nice catchy sections in each track, especially the hook of So Far Down as well as the bass intro in Weep which carries on solemnly. Alaric's contribution has an air of ritualism about it, billowing and gloomy yet accessible. Not sure if I'm a totally on board but I enjoyed it overall.
Atriarch's side is two tracks and they show a little bit of growth and change in their sound. Their first track Oblivion is pretty short and far different from material on Forever The End, mid-tempo and the guitar tone is warped though still wrapped in a druggy fuzz. Oblivion falls right into the next track, Offerings, as the last clear utterance from the vocalist echoes into a slow build — pysch-doom sound from their record makes a return.
A sad and sombre ethereality emerges before this song becomes heavier and the gloomy, moaning vocals make their appearance as the kickers push forward. While their style persists there's a definite step away from the doomier sound in general as the song continues, especially around 4 minutes in when the pace picks up and we hit almost black metal territory — vocals become harsh, screamed, and the drumming is more erratic while the riffs maintain their intoxicated quality as they wash over the other elements.
There's a few surprises to be had on this split. Atriach experiment with their already unique style while Alaric offer something quite unexpected but enjoyable. I recommend giving it a shot if you like what Atriarch put out last year. This split is available at 20 Buck Spin in vinyl format or you can pick up the digital copy on bandcamp for $5 (where you can listen to it in full).
DOWNLOAD (Zippyshare) (vinyl rip)