In 2015, which seems like a geologic epoch ago at this point, we came across a two-song debut demo by Altarage from the Spanish Basque Country and summed it up as “primitive, poisonous, electrifying music from a band that’s now squarely on my radar screen for the future”. They stayed squarely on our radar screen over the course of three subsequent albums, even though they eventually left it in sharp shards of wreckage.
We characterized 2016’s Nihl as “a monster of an album… that will melt your insides”, combining “sheer malignant intensity” and “catastrophic dirges” capable of “dragging your staggering body down into an abyss of despair”. Then came 2017’s Endingent, which we described as “dealing in a brand of pitch-black sonic horror” (“horrifically dense and devastating”), creating an atmosphere “so thick and choking that this album isn’t recommended for anyone who suffers from even a hint of claustrophobia”.
Altarage followed that with 2019’s The Approaching Roar, which we found even more “grim and gruesome” — “one of those records that hits you like a veritable force of nature, and leaves you with no other option except to kick and struggle as hard as you can to keep your head above the water”.
And now comes Succumb, the new Altarage album that Season of Mist has authorized us to put before you in full, the day before its April 23 release. What should you expect?