Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Ataraxy - Revelations of the Ethereal
Do not let the band's logo fool you, because these guys aren't another nameless group trying their hand at recreating the brilliance of "Onward to Golgotha," though after listening to this awesome album, they could probably make something quite spectacular in that style. However, Ataraxy is quite the skilled bunch of Spaniards, as they have delivered a debut album in "Revelations of the Ethereal" that could only be described as amazing. In fact, if someone were to give this record a chance based simply on the incredible album art, they would find that both the music and the hellish landscape are equally mesmerizing. The band's rendition of the archaic style that made Finland a death metal juggernaut in the '90s is absolutely stunning, as these guys create a haunting atmosphere that spans throughout all seven songs, while also forging ancient hymns that are devastatingly heavy.
If I had to compare Ataraxy to any particular groups of old, I would have to point to the Finnish masters (Convulse and Sentenced in particular), but there are also plenty of other influences that could be picked out of the music, with Asphyx and Bolt Thrower being a couple of notable influences as this music is (for lack of a better word) heavy as fuck. Despite these comparisons, Ataraxy definitely possesses their own sound, as there aren't too many bands nowadays who can crush the listener like an anvil across the chest while also trapping the listener in a vortex of darkness that is chilling and morbid all the same. The one aspect of the music on "Revelations of the Ethereal" that makes every song memorable is the band's perfect use of melody, which is no doubt influenced by the Finndeath masters who used melodies to haunt plenty of metalheads. Every song is drenched in an evil aura because of the melodic passages that enhance the monolithic riffs and the vile tremolos, allowing the listener to be engulfed in the band's brand of evil, yet epic death metal.
As if the brooding atmospheric tendencies and violent riffage weren't enough to make this record a memorable one, the putrid vocals are a dead-ringer for the legendary Martin Van Drunen (Probably my favorite death metal vocalist ever), prompting myself to wonder if this is what Asphyx would sound like if they embraced the horrid blasphemies of Finland. "Ethereal Slumber" is a monstrous song (and one of the best songs I've heard all year) that evokes an undeniable sense of dread that serves as a terrific backdrop for the magnificent riffage and agonizing vocals. "Demons From the Storm" is a doomier track that would make fans of Bolt Thrower and Demigod extremely pleased, and "Under Veiled Skies" is a fucking evil number that would make Morbid Angel proud. Unleashing a record like "Revelations of the Ethereal" is easily one of the best ways to make your debut in the metal underground and it's going to be interesting to see how Ataraxy approaches their next release, but until then I'll just enjoy this unholy offering of death metal excellence. Repeatedly.
Be sure to check out and like Ataraxy on Facebook!
"Necrotic Shadow of Decay"
"Demons From the Storm"
"Under Veiled Skies"
4.4/5 or 88%.