- Where All Hope Fades
- Blackened Death Metal
Based on the track list and length alone I’d say we’re all about due for a trip into space. Not just any trip but a trip of certain death and the horror of the cosmos. Where hope not only fades but also is never born again. Ataraxy supposedly means tranquil or calm which I suppose is an intentionally ironic name because this music is anything but calm. It may be slow at times, but it’s certainly never calm.
Where All Hope Fades sounds deliciously raw, like it was recorded in the dankest Spanish cellar they could find. The vocals sound distant and omnipresent but that works great with the music, it suits it like a voice over fits a film. It sounds a little bit out of place here and there, a result of what was likely vocals recorded in isolation rather than with the music present. I could be completely wrong there too, either way it’s not too distracting. It’s definitely recorded with a different sound in mind than is used with the instruments.
It’s got a lot of doom for a death metal album, it often uses slow riffs with slightly faster drums under the guttural screams. The kicks are really popping over the top of the slower parts. This helps shift between death and black seamlessly and it’s pretty fucking dark while maintaining a level of brutality. It doesn’t compromise the intensity even when playing with more melodic guitars at times.
The album only has six tracks totaling 45 minutes, but they are all thick with riffage and aesthetic. By the halfway point with the track As Uembras D’o Hibierno we’re shown the slowest opening that Ataraxy has done yet, but it is still dripping with malice and the imminence of death. It almost sounds as if you took a ‘death doom’ band like Swallow the Sun and abandoned any of the non-death parts. It’ll rough up your face AND your depression.
We’re treated to another slow introduction to the longest and final track The Blackness Of Eternal Night that again still persists in its uneasy feeling, never allowing you to actually relax even if the musicians are. It’s a good choice for an ending track because of its length but also because it summarizes the entire LP in one track. It feels like one more trip around the sun and then a proper conclusion.
Ataraxy are in good form here considering this is their second LP. I’m sure in a couple more albums time they will have cemented themselves a solid force within extreme metal circles. I can see where their music is heading towards a complex direction that will set a bleaker tone for future death metal records.