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Ataraxy – Where All Hopes Fades Award winner

Ataraxy
Where All Hopes Fades
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 22 January 2018, 8:05 AM

Very few genres are as heavy as Doom and Death Metal.  When the two darkened forces are put together the right way, the despair is so deep, the tones are so dark, that you can’t help but be sucked into a lifeless void…with a smile on your face the whole time.

Enter ATARAXY’s second album “Where All Hope Fades.”  The six songs contained within are a swirling mass of somber decay—indeed, the album title is extremely accurate and fitting.  JAVI’s vocals are harrowing—his cleans are a Gothic tone of horror, a deep moan that echoes MY DYING BRIDE, although he somehow sounds even more morose.  Javi also does Death growls….they are a harrowing experience unto itself.  He sounds like the last gasps of a dying person, their anguish and regret leaving the mouth all at once, tearing up the vocal chords the entire way up.

Musically, the band perfectly combines an almost Funeral Doom sound with the brutality of the heaviest Death Metal bands.  The tempo isn’t as slow as a band such as ESOTERIC, for example, but instead the guitars create a swirling mass of lost joy that can turn on a dime, playing slow riffs then suddenly switching to high speed death metal, complimented by versatile drummer Viejo. The two songs that showcase the album, and are the personal highlights for me as well, are “Matter Lost in Time,” and “The Blackness Of Eternal Night.” Both are long songs, clocking in at 11:13 and 12:52 respectfully.

The first half of “Matter Lost In Time,” is a Doom train that rumbles along, crushing everything in its way. Around the halfway mark, the songs has a sudden jump into the speedy attack of a Death Metal assault.  At first, it’s just the drums that kick up the temp but then the guitars and bass join in as well.  It is here that we see the band really stretch its legs to the point where even if you hate doom completely but love Death then you are still going to give this band props.  The last couple minutes feature a crushing main riff and the slightest hint of melody that carries the song on its melancholy wing.

The Blackness of Eternal Night,” is as dark as the title would suggest.  The clean guitar and cymbal work in the opening moments really settle the listener into a creepy place, where little hope can be found.  Around 4 and half minutes or so, a simple but effectively somber guitar solo fill the air and gives way to several great riffs with the deep throated tortured vocals and drumming working together to give a brutal vibe to the muddy waters the band finds themselves playing in.   The 7:20 mark has some of the best riffs on the album and no doubt will have you breaking out the air guitar or headbanging, which are two things people don’t always have a chance to do with Doom.

All in all, there isn’t a whole lot to NOT like about his release.  One could argue that some of the songs blend together or maybe the longer ones have parts here and there that don’t work but I choose to see it as a band committed to their sound with no desire to fix what isn’t broken.  Doom and or Doom/Death bands like MY DYING BRIDE, PARADISE LOST, INCANTATION, and ASPHYX  are the leaders of the sound and are rightfully respected but there is so much else out there, hiding in the underground.  Dig this band up, immediately.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Absurdity of a Whole Cosmos
2. Matter Lost in TIme
3. One Last Certainity
4. As Uembras d’o Hibierno
5. The Mourning Path
6. The Blackness of Eternal Night
Lineup:
Javi - Vocals, Guitars
Santi - Guitars
Edu - Bass
Viejo – Drums
Record Label: Dark Descent Records
     


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