(2012) Atra Mors

Evoken

... read moreWhereas many feared the departure of founding guitarist Nick Orlando would irreparably hobble aging funeral doom monolith Evoken, 2012's Atra Mors shows that potential adversity has instead galvanized New Jersey's finest of the darkest to a resurgence of sorts. Funny how the worm turns -- no, the...

01:07′:10″ 8 Songs

1
Evoken
Atra Mors
11:54
2
Evoken
Descent Into Chaotic Dream
11:13
3
Evoken
A Tenebrous Vision
2:19
4
Evoken
Grim Eloquence
9:40
5
Evoken
An Extrinsic Divide
10:11
6
Evoken
Requies Aeterna
1:59
7
Evoken
The Unechoing Dread
9:47
8
Evoken
Into Aphotic Devastation
10:07
Released 31 July 2012, ℗ Profound Lore

Review

Whereas many feared the departure of founding guitarist Nick Orlando would irreparably hobble aging funeral doom monolith Evoken, 2012's Atra Mors shows that potential adversity has instead galvanized New Jersey's finest of the darkest to a resurgence of sorts. Funny how the worm turns -- no, the band may never equal previously erected pillars of the genre such as 2005's Antithesis of Light, but then Atra Mors‘ victory is in not attempting to. Rather, it pushes open the forbidding iron gates that have long guarded this musical mausoleum just enough to let a little more light penetrate and illuminate formerly concealed features. Relatively speaking. To all but the initiated, the album-opening title track (and most of its ensuing brethren) will still demand a high cost of entry, with its suffocating central husk of detuned guitars and bowel-vacating growls set to the deliberate pounding of a thousand drums (or what sounds like it); but devotees will no doubt note that despondent melodies stand taller in the mix than arguably ever before, and that the overall emotional commitment from the group has intensified significantly. This reinvigorated approach also projects feeble rays of a dying sun across awe-inspiring behemoths like "Descent Into Frantic Dream" and "An Extrinsic Divide" (darker clouds descend upon both, as they wear on); showers quivering synth effects across the evocatively named "Grim Eloquence" (where the fog lifts near the end); penetrates the murk of "The Unechoing Dread" (featuring an especially forceful, vicious vocal from John Paradiso), and warms the bones of "Into Aphotic Devastation" with sawing violins and desolate chimes. In sum: rarely has a funeral sounded this…alive! And it probably didn't hurt that Evoken gave themselves half a decade in which to stockpile this much quality material for Atra Mors -- just one of many reasons why what could have been a truly funereal occasion (no pun intended) may instead signal a new lease on life for the group. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia