Atriarch - An Unending Pathway review



Reviewer:
8.5

15 users:
7.07
Band: Atriarch
Album: An Unending Pathway
Release date: October 2014


01. Entropy
02. Collapse
03. Revenant
04. Bereavement
05. Rot
06. Allfather
07. Veil


Within the realm of blackened doom, less really does seem to be more often times. Surprisingly limited in its scope, even after pioneers such as Dolorian and Katatonia burst onto the scene in the 90s, this style nonetheless has always felt like one where quality > quantity, and its small amount of practitioners always appear to be dealing out blows at a considerably high end of the spectrum. Relatively new on the scene are the Americans of Atriarch, and they're proving this idea true yet again with their third album, quite possibly the peak of their career.

The key word with An Unending Pathway is balance. The doom side of Atriarch's equation still takes precedence, as with their previous releases, but here it sees leveling out with the BM side of their personality unlike ever before. Blast beats and intense tremolo picking rear their head for the first time, perhaps briefly, but enough to make the band's slight change in direction well felt. On "Beravement" in particular, this technique does indeed get quite furious, with the shrieks and lo fi approach of the guitar helping to build upon it greatly, adding a whole new dimension to Atriarch's already well-established harrowing mood of sound.

Thankfully, however, even with these new variations, Atriarch have by no means whatsoever lost sight of the gloomy, doomy vibe which forms the core of their identity. The heavy riffs and melodic, melancholic atmosphere that made their previous efforts as good as they were is retained, especially upon closer "Veil" and the fantastically executed "Rot." As usual, vocalist Lenny Smith continues to dazzle with his impressive versatility of delivery. Whether it's his shrieks, his cleans, or those deep, creepy, operatic drones of his, neither method seems to really be better than the other, and this sense that no matter what he's doing he's succeeding is incredibly satisfying. Smith is the proverbial icing on this band's cake, and with him at the helm, Atriarch are going to prosper significantly.

Put simply, An Unending Pathway is quite likely Atriarch's best album to date. If the third album of a band's discography is typically held as the "make it or break it" point, these guys not only break through the wall, they pummel it into dust. More balanced in the BM/doom equation than before, but also not losing sight of the distinct atmosphere that has come to define them, with this new album Atriarch are in their strongest incarnation they've yet seen, and I for one am very excited to see what else lies in the future for this amazing (yet criminally unknown!) band.

Stream "Collapse" and "Allfather" on their Bandcamp.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Production: 9


 



Written on 15.10.2014 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.


Comments

Comments: 7   Visited by: 37 users
25.10.2014 - 18:06
barnesy
Just pre-ordered this off bandcamp based off this review.
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25.10.2014 - 18:34
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by barnesy on 25.10.2014 at 18:06

Just pre-ordered this off bandcamp based off this review.

I sincerely don't think you'll be disappointed
----
"A little boy went out to play. When he opened his door, he saw the world. As he passed through the doorway, he caused a reflection. Evil was born. Evil was born and followed the boy."
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28.10.2014 - 15:54
barnesy
Great album indeed! I've learned when Apothecary speaks I listen.
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28.10.2014 - 22:11
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by barnesy on 28.10.2014 at 15:54

Great album indeed! I've learned when Apothecary speaks I listen.

Hehe
----
"A little boy went out to play. When he opened his door, he saw the world. As he passed through the doorway, he caused a reflection. Evil was born. Evil was born and followed the boy."
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29.10.2014 - 01:45
Diverge
That riff in Collapse is amazing.
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10.12.2014 - 16:02
V01d
Excellent review, man. Discovered this and many other bands because of your reviews. Atriarch is quickly becoming one of my favorite bands (mostly due to my love of post-punk)
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27.06.2016 - 13:17
LuciferOfGayness
Account deleted
Written by V01d on 10.12.2014 at 16:02

Atriarch is quickly becoming one of my favorite bands (mostly due to my love of post-punk)

Yeah lots of death-rocky post-punk here.
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