Rating:
9.1
Evoken - Atra Mors
31 July 2012


01. Atra Mors
02. Descent Into Chaotic Dream
03. A Tenebrous Vision
04. Grim Eloquence
05. An Extrinsic Divide
06. Requies Aeterna
07. The Unechoing Dread
08. Into Aphotic Devastation


They're baaaaaaaaack! Put on your battle armor Ahab and Esoteric, because funeral doom titans Evoken have returned and they're ready for war with yet another excellent contribution to the overlooked style from which they come. Apparently Atra Mors is the 100th album to be released on Profound Lore Records, and a fantastic celebration of such an event it is indeed.

If you enjoyed 2005's Antithesis Of Light, and 2007's highly-praised A Caress Of The Void, then chances are pretty good that you'll appreciate Atra Mors. The formula that Evoken have employed previously, that's won them so much appreciation and respect, doesn't change much here: the grim, haunting melancholy of the melodies, the crushing growls of the vocals, and the ambient elements are all there. But here's the catch boys and girls: this time around, Evoken's formula is split almost completely down the middle. Unlike Antithesis Of Light and A Caress Of The Void, which leaned more towards the atmospheric side of Evoken's equation, Atra Mors strikes an amazingly well-executed balance between the harsher side of the crushing riffs and growls and the more relaxed (but still imposing) side of the grim nightmares that the clean guitar, piano, and other atmospheric sounds conjure. To help cement this division, the band even took up the new task of actually setting apart two short ambient tracks ("A Tenebrous Vision" and "Requies Aeterna") between the other longer tracks of the album, to great effect: not only does it help with the spacing out of the sound on Atra Mors, but it also provides listeners with immediate access to the album's more atmospheric moments if they wish.

On another note, on Atra Mors Evoken seem to have taken a different approach to the structure of their rhythm delivery. The band's previous song-structures, especially on Antithesis Of Light, were more chord-based. Here there's more of a focus on actual melodies and Evoken actually rear up a few interesting grooves here and there, specifically in the middle of the title track, and with the very neat bass rhythm about 6 minutes into "The Unechoing Dread."

So, basically, on Atra Mors Evoken have stuck to the consistent method that's been working for them thus far, albeit with a few minor alterations. In a way, the 50/50 split between the album's heavy and melodic elements makes it more appetizing, knowing that you're not going to be pushed too far in any one direction, and that there's a good amount to digest from both sides of Evoken's personality. But other than that, and the more riff-centered songwriting, on Atra Mors it's the same band we've all come to love, the new volume of their musical saga being just as strong as Antithesis Of Light or A Caress Of The Void, merely in a different way. This is easily one of (if not the) best doom releases of 2012. Pick it up and listen to it in your backyard, under a dark full moon night. Sounds silly, but it works wonders, trust me.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: Evoken
Album: Atra Mors


 



Written on 01.12.2012 by
Apothecary
"I don't know how y'all see it, but when it comes to the children, Wu Tang is for the children, we teach the children"
-ODB
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Merchant of Doom - 03.12.2012 at 00:34  
Well, I find that quite offensive. Ok, I don't think I can put up with all this teen-agery stuff anymore. I'm glad I made a few of you (not Marcel, who's been really unsupportive - not that I was expecting it - and will be banned from d-m.com soooon - he might be pleased about that, since he is never to be seen... ) think a bit more about the difference between funeral and death/doom/doom/death stuff. That was my intention. Have a nice evening. It's been kind of entertaining, as usual...
Marcel Hubregtse - 03.12.2012 at 00:40  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 03.12.2012 at 00:34

(not Marcel, who's been really unsupportive - not that I was expecting it - and will be banned from d-m.com soooon - he might be pleased about that, since he is never to be seen... )


not that I mind indeed. But I would like to know the precise reason for banning me over on doom-metal.com. Just for not supporting you? Weird reason, I'd say. I know it says satff behind my name there. No idea why though, just because I did a bit of proofreading years ago?
Merchant of Doom - 03.12.2012 at 00:43  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 03.12.2012 at 00:40

Written by Merchant of Doom on 03.12.2012 at 00:34

(not Marcel, who's been really unsupportive - not that I was expecting it - and will be banned from d-m.com soooon - he might be pleased about that, since he is never to be seen... )


not that I mind indeed. But I would like to know the precise reason for banning me over on doom-metal.com. Just for not supporting you? Weird reason, I'd say. I know it says satff behind my name there. No idea why though, just because I did a bit of proofreading years ago?


I was only joking, Marcel, you are the voice of reason... I have no idea why you are staff there... it was before my time!
!J.O.O.E.! - 03.12.2012 at 02:03  
It's funny someone talking about being "childish" when the adult way to conduct a discussion is to present some kind of evidence or at least construct a half-decent discussion of some sort. Turning up on a bi-monthly basis, spouting the same verbatim "you're wrong, stop conducting reviews wrong" then moaning that you're being treated unfairly or insulted is precisely what I would call a teenagery way to conduct forum conversation (because that's precisely what teens do when they don't get their own way). Nothing worse than someone who thinks their own opinion constitutes fact that requires no further elaboration. I'm fairly sure no advancement has ever been made that way.
Boxcar Willy - 03.12.2012 at 03:25  
Awwww I missed all the whiney bullshit :'(
Daniell - 03.12.2012 at 09:43  
It's such a shame that a review of such a good album has been dominated by pointless bickering about genres.
Daniell - 03.12.2012 at 10:28  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 03.12.2012 at 10:12

This is my last post on this thread.


Please, keep your word.
Merchant of Doom - 03.12.2012 at 11:03  
Deleted... can't be arsed anymore...
Alex Fenger - 03.12.2012 at 14:43  
Guys Evoken clearly play metalcore... get it right
Apothecary - 03.12.2012 at 16:29  
Written by Boxcar Willy on 03.12.2012 at 03:25

Awwww I missed all the whiney bullshit :'(

This is why we can't have nice things.

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