(Atriarch’s new album Dead As Truth will be released by Relapse Records tomorrow — August 11 — and today we present the debut of a full music stream, preceded by an introductory review from our Andy Synn.)
Here’s a fun story for you.
Not long ago, for whatever reason, I found myself attending a Goth club night, which afforded me an opportunity to observe some of our most unfairly maligned brothers and sisters strutting their funky stuff in their natural habitat.
What surprised me, however, was that, in amongst the expected medley of Fields of the Nephilim and Sisters of Mercy, I heard an awful lot of generic chart fodder as well.
Could it be that our infamously black-dyed brethren (and sistren) are actually just pop fans with a very specific taste in wardrobe?
Maybe so. Maybe not. What’s clear is that I’ll never fully understand what it means to be a Goth (not a judgement by the way, just a statement of fact).
But when it comes to music that inclines towards the darker side of things?
That’s something I can definitely get into.
As you might have gathered from my little introductory spiel above, Dead As Truth, the new album from Portland-based deathrockers Atriarch, is an undeniably dark record. There’s no denying that.
Darker than dark, and blacker than the blackest black (times infinity), its six tracks provide an ugly, uncompromising glimpse into the sump of psychic effluent which is the human condition.
In fact, it may well be the darkest album I’ve heard all year.
On a more prosaic level, however, while the band’s overall sound remains a soul-crushing blend of depressive Doom and blackened gloom, bitter, gothic melodies and pulsing Post-Punk rhythms, album number four is also possibly their best attempt yet to synthesise all these elements into one cohesive whole.
That’s not to disparage their previous efforts, of course, particularly 2014’s An Unending Pathway (which was, up to this point, the band’s best album), but whether it’s the intoxicating doomery of opener “Inferno”, the dense, pseudo-industrial grimness of “Devolver”, or the apoplectic frenzy of “Repent”, every song on Dead As Truth is a triumph of jagged, clanking riffs, grim, groovesome bass lines, and gloriously ghoulish hooks.
As heavy – both sonically and emotionally – as these songs are, though, it’s the quiet moments which really make them pop, with the eerie soundscaping that underpin tracks like the shadowy “Void” and aptly-named closer “Hopeless” hitting just as hard, or possibly even harder, than the group’s noisier brand of sonic nihilism.
So, with all this in mind, why not see/hear for yourself what all the fuss is about?
Take a look below and you’ll find an exclusive stream of the album, which comes out tomorrow on Relapse.
In particular, fans of the sneering sonic sadism of Swans, the gothic glamour of Triptykon, or even the trippy blackened weirdness of Dødsengel, should find a lot to love (or should that be loathe?) here.