Released: 2012, 20 Buck Spin
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
This EP is split between two bands based on Washington state based label 20 Buck Spin. It features 3 songs from Oakland death rock outfit Alaric and two from Portland's blackened death/doom act Atriarch. It functions as a promo for these two bands who will be releasing new full length albums at the end of 2012.
So first up are Alaric. Their music is of a distinctly stateside flavor of death rock. Their record company describes their sound as an ‘infectious execution of coalescing classic dark anarcho punk, new wave and Goth influences into their own unique entity, both haunting and instantly memorable’. It’s a pretty accurate description. In amongst the echoing guitars and heavy bass there are sounds of Sex Gang Children, Bauhaus and pornography-era Cure, with the punk being less evident. It is a pretty introspective in a post-punk style but without the catchiness. Would be liked by hardcore death rock fans, but otherwise it’s a bit of a difficult listen. Sounds dated and embedded in the 80’s but that is pretty much death rock in a nutshell.
Next it’s the turn of Atriarch. They have more balls than their label mates but are still very much in the realms of US Death Rock. A strong likeness to death rock pioneers Christian Death, which would fit the label’s description of ‘a harrowing amalgam of death rock, black metal and doom’ – yep that’s Christian Death. Like Christian Death they are harsh on the ear in places. Even more so on the second song ‘Offerings’, which is more doom metal with Rozz Williams vocals, than death rock.
All the material on the album is well produced, but there is nothing to get excited about.
Review by Victoria Fenbane