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Altarage - Succumb Award winner

Altarage
Succumb
by Emily Schneider at 10 May 2021, 3:15 PM

(These guys are illusive types. No signs of identity anywhere) They are shadow people in any and all photos too! Fear. It's a raw human emotion that most try to avoid. The elusive Spanish band ALTARAGE instead creates it in sound, yet makes the unsettling feeling something you're also drawn right into. The Extreme Metal band formed in 2015 and has since released three albums. Their fourth album “Succumb,” released in April 2021, lures the listener into a cacophonous soundscape right on the brink of fear itself.

Negative Arrival” is a drum heavy, super distorted intro that draws you right into “Magno Evento”. The mixing of the music can only be described as thick. There's a veil of pure darkness over the chuggy, Doomy riffs and muddy vocals. “Foregone” gets a bit louder than the first few songs, the vocals are dragged to a less murky part of the soup thick lake they're buried in. There's a break midway through the track that lets you come up to the surface for air, just before some Death Metal riffs hit you square in the face and you're floating in the swirling abyss once more. “Drainage Mechanism” kicks in with an immediate sludgy riff and drum cacophony and drags you down like a dark sea undertow.

Fair Warning” is suddenly loud and clear, full of reverb that resembles ringing in the ears. It's super unsettling because the song previous ends abruptly and leads into it with no warning (contrary to what the song title says). “Lavath” continues this foreboding, borderline terrifying feeling with dramatic pauses then a skin-crawling riff and vocal combo takeover. I haven't been this bothered yet intrigued since I heard "MoRt" by BLUT AUS NORD (which is a compliment)! “Forja” and “Inwards” bring in a faster, more Death Metal style in the bouts of melody that appear off and on. You feel compelled to bang your head a bit to these ones.

The last 21 minutes of the album belongs to the closing track “Devorador de Mundos” (which translates to Devourer of Worlds) The intro creates a scene of a being clawing its way from the netherworld. The slow build-up of roaring riffs and crashing percussion paints the feeling of danger and impending destruction. The upward spiral the sounds take is wild. It does feel like you're ascending, watching as the world around and below you is torn apart and the song eventually fades into the abyss most of the album felt consumed within.

Overall, “Succumb” is an album of unsettling yet somehow mesmerizing thrums of sound, submerged in a mossy lake in the dead of night. It's all about the atmosphere when it comes to Doomy Extreme Metal like this and ALTARAGE certainly knows how to create it. I spent most of my listen-through of this album on edge, like the deep darkness they created was going to suck me into the center of the pitch black whirlpool. The low guttural vocals truly take the dark and scary feel they're going for to unfathomable heights as well; they are raw and relentless in the best of ways. They wanted to create a nightmarish hellscape and damn, they nailed it!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

 

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Negative Arrival
2. Magno Evento
3. Maneuvre
4. Foregone
5. Drainage Mechanism
6. Watcher Witness
7. Fair Warning
8. Lavath
9. Forja
10. Inwards
11. Vour Concession
12. Devorador De Mundos
Lineup:
Unknown
Record Label: Season of Mist
     


Rating

Unrated
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Edited 27 October 2021
 

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