A horrible hack

Atramentus

Stygian

Year Released: 2020
Format: Download
Label: 20 Buck Spin
 
Reviewed by Alex Deller on Sep 29, 2020
Some pretty goddamn huge funeral doom here from a band who've plotted their gloomy course so that it lets them take comfort breaks at the same waypoints at which Thergothon, Morgion and Asunder once voided themselves. Each song (well, there are two – three if you count the ambient segue) is a journey to nowhere particularly pleasant, and though the dank, dolorous riffs and rumbling bullfrog vocals are very much on-brand for the genre this lot have chosen to focus more on foreboding atmosphere than spirit-sapping riffs. In some ways this is as much a strength as a weakness: it's nice ("nice") that you don't have to roll your eyes through the same riffs endlessly recycled by lesser bands, but once in a while you might catch yourself wondering whether they might have lobbed a bit more gut-punch brutality in amid the tolling bells, spectral chants and howling winds. This said it's still an impressively strong and eminently gloomy release, and one that gets extra points from me for the odd flicker of reined-in pomp that so desperately wants to come rushing to the surface.


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