Portland, OR-based Atriarch have produced something extraordinary with their debut. There is a profound difference between music that merely pouts and music that strives for the ambience of truly dark, depressive doom. Atriarch have produced a brilliantly crafted example of genuine melancholy, intelligent, gothic doom combined with the smoky, mystical atmosphere of some of the best black metal. The album's thrumming bass tones are deep and somehow tremulous, possessing a crushing weight that's also profoundly vulnerable.
Atriarch have captured the sound of grieving on an album that drags itself along and tears itself open. Yet Forever the End is also reflective and critical, vacillating between the pure, towering experience of that grief and the careful dissection of it. In this, the album manages to be both overwhelming and precise. The songs are structured like chants and invocations, and the ambience Atriarch create is very much a ritual, especially the beginning of "Plague" and the end of "Downfall." This is a rite that comes, wails and rages, fills the listener completely with a seething ocean of emotion, then leaves the world a bit bleaker in its wake.
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