Album Review: Atriarch – Forever the End

Atriarch [USA]
Forever the End
2011
Full Length
Seventh Rule
Black/Doom Metal

Black/doom metal has been a genre that has interested me of late, with bands like Legions of Crows displaying how these 2 genres’ interplay with each other can lead to the creation of a whole different animal altogether. Forever the End is American black/doom metal band Atriarch‘s debut release, and once again features Nick on bass, who also plays bass on doom metal band Uzala.

With that said though, Forever the End is a totally different animal from Uzala‘s music, even though the doom metal foundation here is clearly audible. Album opener Plague features a droning guitar that carries on throughout the song, with a dense bassline and the repeated drum rolls of Maxamillion, topped by the haunting vocals of Lenny Smith. As the track progresses, despite the seeming lack of black metal elements, the band has managed to set up the right, chilling and foreboding atmosphere for the rest of the album through the slow pace (and the inhuman screaming in the background), and leaves a sense of unease in the listener, unsure about what’s about to happen next. The chants towards the end of the track even gives the music some sort of a ritualistic feel as well, reinforcing the already doomy atmosphere of the album.

However, just as one expects a blast-fest to begin as Plague ends and Shadows begins, the listener is proved wrong as the band continues at their crawling pace, with vocalist Lenny choosing to continue with clean vocals that sound reminiscent of Ozzy Osbourne‘s, before unexpectedly coming in with shrieks, amongst the contrasting calm backdrop provided by the instruments. The mix of the vocals places him at a distance, and that faraway sound effect gives a nice large, spacey feel in the music, and even provides the music with a somewhat atmospheric black metal feel, with moments such as those on Fracture somehow reminding me of bands like Summoning.

The slow pace in the music though, does not signify the lack of talents on the various instruments. For example, drummer Maxamillion shines on faster segments on Shadows (one of the very few such moments on the album), emphasising the urgency that is in the music, and even on slower parts he manages to squeeze in various rolls, displaying his versatility on the instrument. Fracture also sees the band giving Nick some personal lead time, with a slow bass intro to the track, before that chanting vocals of Lenny comes in again, making it feel as though one were at a funeral procession. Downfall even has the band making use of clean instruments for the first quarter of the song, yet managing to retain that atmosphere that is so crucial in the music of Atriarch.

For the most part though, the music on Forever the End is solid, trance-inducing doom metal with black metal influences that are littered here and there throughout to satisfy the average doom metal fan looking for something extreme (as if the painfully slow pace and ceremonial atmosphere were not extreme enough). Atriarch has managed to stand out from other bands in the similar genre, and Forever the End is evidence of this.

Atriarch on the internet:
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Seventh Rule

©2012 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hong Rui

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