Atriarch have been generating a fair amount of buzz lately, and with good reason. That reason has little to do with the fact that Atriarch contains members of Trees and Graves at Sea, though I can't imagine that hurts much. All the buzz you're hearing is due to the fact that their debut album, Forever the End, is a monster of an album, a sonic experience that will leave you entranced, crushed, and perhaps out of breath.
Musically speaking, this a doom record, flavored with hints of sludge and drone, but artistically, this is pure ritual. Once you've managed to crawl through the 4 songs and 36 minutes that make up this record, you should feel exhausted, yet totally alive; there's something almost tangible to this musical experience, something that physically grabs you by the throat but allows you to live. The point was never to choke you, but to wake you up.
This is a metal record, so of course there is a good deal of violence involved. The agonizing, plodding, almost funeral-doom pace of the music, which is tribal at times and somewhat manic at others, comes across as the aural manifestation of catharsis. Lenny Smith's tortured vocals conjure the demons within, and begs them to emerge from the shadows. When those vocals are paired with the brooding atmosphere of the guitars and the crawling, somnolent rhythmic assault, the darkness is fully realized, and the cleansing can begin. In the flesh, you'll be battered and bruised, but emotionally and spiritually, you'll be purified of whatever plagued you.
I can't recommend this enough. It's a powerful, encompassing journey, and even though the album lasts only 36 minutes, it's depth and scope is impressive. To hear for yourself, you can stream the album in its entirety here.
The album is available on vinyl (with free digital download) from Seventh Rule for only $12.99 plus shipping. A great deal indeed. If you'd rather have a CD, that can be purchased from the band. Or you can name your price on a digital download. For any of these, go here. Support!