Atriarch's "Altars" the Perfect Halloween 2012 Soundtrack
Second album to be released October 30
I named Atriarch one of the best new bands of 2011, and for good reason, as the Portland foursome’s debut album Forever the End turned out to be a very clever, very original sounding combination of black metal, doom, and early-‘80s gothic rock. Earlier this year they collaborated with Alaric on a superb split CD, and they’re now set to properly follow up their debut album with Ritual of Passing, which will be released on October 30 via Profound Lore. One of its tracks, the brooding “Altars”, has been posted at Pitchfork, and is a must-hear.
Believe me when I tell you that the new album’s release is perfectly timed for Halloween. It’s a mesmerizing, haunting opus that sees Atriarch more in command of their music than ever before, every side of the band’s aesthetic – doom, black metal, goth – ebbing and flowing gracefully. “Altars” is a perfect example, too. Rooted heavily in the funereal tones of Bauhaus, from its fluid, grimly melodic bassline to the thin guitar melody that slices through the fog, more metallic influences creep in from time to time, but the band has the self-discipline to not let things get too out of hand, smartly retaining a sense of tension throughout. If that wasn’t enough, singer Lenny Smith brings a commanding presence to the song – and the entire album for that matter – that feels equal parts Swans' Michael Gira and Voivod’s Snake. It’s bone-chilling music from an outstanding album.