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Ataraxie - Resigns Award winner

by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 16 February 2019, 9:49 PM

If for whatever reason you wanted to make a mix tape for situations like burials or pulling the plug on a vegetable, at least a couple of songs from ATARAXIE’s  fourth full length album “Resignes.” would make it.  I’m not saying the band would promote something like that but I mean to say the four tracks contained within are morose and dead as autumn leaves.  If the horsemen Pestilence or Death could be channeled through music, this would be a close fit for the mounting human apocalypse.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, France’s ATARAXIE play Funeral Doom/Death with an emphasis on every word in the sub genre’s name—all elements come into play, mixing into a harrowing journey through a complete blackness.  A lot of Funeral Doom bands have these long song structures and they fill them up with ambiance or psychedelic textures.   However,  “Resignes,” focuses on pure destruction with the elements of Doom being used as a bludgeoning tool.  The album features three guitarists and I promise you all three are used effectively—this is some of the most crushing Doom/Death I have ever heard.

The moment I first played the opening track, “People Swarming, Evil Ruling,” I knew the band’s sound would be all encompassing and smothering.  The way this song builds up is stunning and deserves accolades from the Doom genre but also for song writing in general.  A simple but heavy strum from the guitar opens the song; it keeps going for sometime like a tornado sucking all  surroundings into its vortex. Pierre's drums hit now, cymbals and snare snapping down hard to convey the awakening beast that is this track.   Afterwards, the vocals complete the package with some frighteningly deep Death growls from bassist Jonathan.
This track alone is over twenty minutes in  length but it isn’t the same tired note the entire time.  I never had a chance to get bored with the track—the song is bursting at the seams with a lot of well written passages. Around seven minutes in, the track displays a clean guitar passage—spoken word whispering and quiet, less deliberate drums keep the sound hopeless. Imagine being chased by some unknown creature of the night and just as you are about to get away, you trip and break a leg—unable to move, you must accept the inevitable as this terrible thing closes in.  The section at 12:15 captures this scenario in audible form, especially in the bass guitar and the double bass. 
Coronation of Leeches,” starts its twisted life with clean guitar riffs that act as a mystic and mysterious companion to the bass guitar which stands tall like a monolith calling out for a gathering of worshipers.  The band’s Death Metal side comes into strong play; a quarter of the way in the band steps up the speed and covers the entire soundscape with a caustic blended storm of acid, smoke, and rain.  It’s intense, urgent and well placed in the track so it doesn’t really sound out of place compared to the quieter beginning.  Rather, it is the perfect bridge to the stunningly destitute riffs and primal screams that come later in the track. 
I challenge the reader to find heavier riffs than the ones that open up the title track, “Resignes.” The guitars strike hard, deep, and by the time the growls make their presence know, the senses are already rattled to the core. The next five minutes or so of the track showcase that extreme Death/Doom can feature more tortured, tragic moments without moving into Gothic Doom territory—no matter what form this song takes, it never moves away from the stark, oppressive sound the band does so well.  The track’s last five minutes are especially intense, the band ramping up all their elements tenfold.  It builds into one of the most frightening crescendos I’ve heard in some time then it suddenly stops and transitions to clean instrumentation and I’m left exhausted and battered.  A very strong contender for Doom Metal song of the year.
The final track,  “Les affres du trepas”, is a twenty five minute tour de force….the final act of a human’s thoughts and hopes as the headman’s ax comes down, bringing perpetual darkness and inescapable fate with it. The tracks early beginnings are drenched in solemn guitars and surprisingly atmospheric bass that works hand in hand with the tortured vocals.  Even more so than the other tracks, this one I think really shows what the band is trying to do and is a great representation of their sound.  I also found this one to a bit more dynamic than the others, as it often explored a more nuance side of Doom especially in the songs quiet moments like at the nineteen minute mark, where the bass worms its way through the black hole that is the backdrop.  The lead guitar accents the whole thing and it leads into a swirling mass of living Doom that takes the rest of the track onto a complicated yet rewarding finish.
This album continues the trend of Doom having another great showing for the year and it is still early days for 2019;  a lot of Doom is going to come and go before the year is out but I’m confident this beastly album won’t have any problems staying near the top of the twisted, broken, pile.
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. People Swarming, Evil Ruling
2. Coronation of the Leeches
3. Resignes
4. Les affres du trepas (Part 1 & 2)
Frederic Patte-Brasseur - Guitars
Jonathan Thery – Bass, Vocals
Pierre Senecal – Drums
Hugo Gasper – Guitars
Julien Payan - Guitars
Record Label: XenoKorp


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Edited 02 October 2022

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