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
"Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a master. But without innovation, it is a corpse."
-Winston Churchill
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Opethian - 01.12.2012 at 19:13  
Spot on review! This is easily on my top 10 for 2012! Great review
Evil Chip - 01.12.2012 at 19:32  
I'm gonna listen to this right now.
Raging Dreamer - 01.12.2012 at 19:44  
*Puts this on list of albums "to buy when I get the money"*
Draugen - 02.12.2012 at 00:55  
I agree with everything aside from that it would be the best doom release of the year. Still a fantastic album though.
tuerda - 02.12.2012 at 07:04  
Funny you mention only Evoken's last two albums when comparing this album to the previous ones. Evoken has been consistently dominating the funeral doom genre since pretty much their first album. Its not exactly that they do anything particularly special or different, they just do the same thing BETTER than everybody else does. Aside from some minor production flaws, this album is no exception., and I think its probably their best since Quietus.
Apothecary - 02.12.2012 at 07:09  
Written by tuerda on 02.12.2012 at 07:04

Funny you mention only Evoken's last two albums when comparing this album to the previous ones. Evoken has been consistently dominating the funeral doom genre since pretty much their first album. Its not exactly that they do anything particularly special or different, they just do the same thing BETTER than everybody else does. Aside from some minor production flaws, this album is no exception., and I think its probably their best since Quietus.

In all honesty, because those are the only other two that I've listened to
Apothecary - 02.12.2012 at 07:10  
Oh, and by the way guys, Atra Mors means "Black Death" in Latin
The more you know
tuerda - 02.12.2012 at 07:15  
Written by Apothecary on 02.12.2012 at 07:09

Written by tuerda on 02.12.2012 at 07:04

Funny you mention only Evoken's last two albums when comparing this album to the previous ones. Evoken has been consistently dominating the funeral doom genre since pretty much their first album. Its not exactly that they do anything particularly special or different, they just do the same thing BETTER than everybody else does. Aside from some minor production flaws, this album is no exception., and I think its probably their best since Quietus.

In all honesty, because those are the only other two that I've listened to

In that case you absolutely must get your hands on Quietus. To my ears, it is their best album.
Merchant of Doom - 02.12.2012 at 10:14  
because funeral doom titans Evoken have returned

It must be a different band, because Evoken are NOT funeral doom.
Daniell - 02.12.2012 at 11:01  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 02.12.2012 at 10:14

because funeral doom titans Evoken have returned

It must be a different band, because Evoken are NOT funeral doom.


And you had to fly down like a vulture and pick on the first occasion to preach about genres.
Merchant of Doom - 02.12.2012 at 11:10  
Written by Daniell on 02.12.2012 at 11:01

Written by Merchant of Doom on 02.12.2012 at 10:14

because funeral doom titans Evoken have returned

It must be a different band, because Evoken are NOT funeral doom.


And you had to fly down like a vulture and pick on the first occasion to preach about genres.


As I said a million times before, I do it when your reviews are clearly misleading the reader on the genre. If you don't get it, I rest my case.
BloodTears - 02.12.2012 at 12:37  
One of my favourites of the year so far in the doom department. It took me a while to fully understand it though but the underlying melodies helped.
tea[m]ster - 02.12.2012 at 13:15  
Is this band anything like Esoteric? I am not a big doom metal fan but I kinda dig Esoteric.
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.12.2012 at 17:50  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 02.12.2012 at 11:10

As I said a million times before, I do it when your reviews are clearly misleading the reader on the genre. If you don't get it, I rest my case.

There's a reason this isn't true, and that's because no one else gives a shit about the very vague blurry lines of Evoken's funeral death-doom style When over 99% of people identify Evoken with the funeral doom genre in some way (and rightfully so) it isn't misleading, so stop trying to be the representative of the unspoken masses (because let's be honest: small circle jerk at doom-metal.com is not the masses) and just admit that you just like to stick your oar in every couple of months about this exceptionally boring and irrelevant subject
Merchant of Doom - 02.12.2012 at 18:03  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.12.2012 at 17:50

Written by Merchant of Doom on 02.12.2012 at 11:10

As I said a million times before, I do it when your reviews are clearly misleading the reader on the genre. If you don't get it, I rest my case.

When over 99% of people identify Evoken with the funeral doom genre in some way (and rightfully so) it isn't misleading


It is, because you keep misrepresenting the genre. Every time you get it wrong, I will here to tell your readers it's wrong, unless you ban me. I won't comment the rest of your post, because it's just pathetic.
Mr. Doctor - 02.12.2012 at 18:05  
You must correct a hell of a lot of times then because that "error" is definitely not limited to this website.
Merchant of Doom - 02.12.2012 at 18:07  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 02.12.2012 at 18:05

You must correct a hell of a lot of times then because that "error" is definitely not limited to this website.



I do...
Mr. Doctor - 02.12.2012 at 18:18  
Not really a mockery... I just think this is appropiate.
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.12.2012 at 18:38  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 02.12.2012 at 18:03


It is, because you keep misrepresenting the genre. Every time you get it wrong, I will here to tell your readers it's wrong, unless you ban me. I won't comment the rest of your post, because it's just pathetic.

Correction: you're telling readers your opinion, which would generally be considered vague or even incorrect in the broad stream of things when it comes to the mass metal perception of Evoken and the facets of funeral doom. That's what defines a genre: consensus within a particular culture. If that culture deems something to be something, then that's what it is. No misrepresentation. You're just an aged forum dweller with his own personal perspective of doom trying to force his ideals on others (with little success if your track record is anything to go by). But by all means, keep telling everyone they're wrong and I'll just sit back and watch them ignore you

While you're here why don't you scoot over to these sites, all of which were taken from the first couple of pages of Google which relate or liken the band / album to the funeral doom genre in someway, and tell them they don't know what they're talking about and are misrepresenting the genre.

http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/16871-atra-mors/
http://www.cvltnation.com/cvlt-nation-album-review-evoken-atra-mors/
http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/53593/Evoken-Atra-Mors/
http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/51370/Evoken-Atra-Mors/
http://www.metalinjection.net/reviews/cd-review-evoken-atra-mors
http://www.metalreview.com/reviews/6811/evoken-atra-mors
http://www.invisibleoranges.com/2012/08/evoken-atra-mors/
http://heavymetal.about.com/od/evoken/fr/Evoken-Atra-Mors-Review.htm
http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/163316-evoken-atra-mors/
http://www.eveningoflight.nl/2012/09/28/review-evoken-atra-mors-2012/
http://metalfuzz.com/2012/09/11/evoken-atra-mors/
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.12.2012 at 18:54  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 02.12.2012 at 18:18

Not really a mockery... I just think this is appropiate.

This I feel also has relevance
Apothecary - 02.12.2012 at 19:19  
Quote:
Quote:

There's a reason this isn't true, and that's because no one else gives a shit about the very vague blurry lines of Evoken's funeral death-doom style When over 99% of people identify Evoken with the funeral doom genre in some way (and rightfully so) it isn't misleading, so stop trying to be the representative of the unspoken masses (because let's be honest: small circle jerk at doom-metal.com is not the masses) and just admit that you just like to stick your oar in every couple of months about this exceptionally boring and irrelevant subject

I couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks for taking the words right out of my mouth... or rather, the typing right out of my keyboard
Apothecary - 02.12.2012 at 19:20  
Written by tea[m]ster on 02.12.2012 at 13:15

Is this band anything like Esoteric? I am not a big doom metal fan but I kinda dig Esoteric.

They're two different bands for sure, but more than likely if you like Esoteric, you'll enjoy Evoken. Same kinda grim, ethereal atmosphere to their music, for the most part.
Merchant of Doom - 02.12.2012 at 19:20  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.12.2012 at 18:38
While you're here why don't you scoot over to these sites, all of which were taken from the first couple of pages of Google which relate or liken the band / album to the funeral doom genre in someway, and tell them they don't know what they're talking about and are misrepresenting the genre.


They don't. Lots of wrong opinions don't make consensus, they just make general ignorance. You should know better than this. I must say I'm disappointed...
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.12.2012 at 19:26  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 02.12.2012 at 19:20

They don't. Lots of wrong opinions don't make consensus, they just make general ignorance. You should know better than this. I'm disappointed.

Regarding the unprovable such as religion, yes, regarding something that IS defined by mass opinion, no. Most metalcore doesn't contain punk yet it is defined as such. It becomes a neoligism to describe a particular sound, and the vast majority regard Evoken to have distinct ties to the funeral doom genre because they have a sound which is readily associated with it. That is the way it is. You saying that it's not true does not make it so.

What I find disappointing is how much time you spend wasting and losing sleep over such a pithy and, I repeat, completely irrelevant, topic. It's a little sad.
Apothecary - 02.12.2012 at 19:28  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 02.12.2012 at 19:20

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.12.2012 at 18:38
While you're here why don't you scoot over to these sites, all of which were taken from the first couple of pages of Google which relate or liken the band / album to the funeral doom genre in someway, and tell them they don't know what they're talking about and are misrepresenting the genre.


They don't. Lots of wrong opinions don't make consensus, they just make general ignorance. You should know better than this. I must say I'm disappointed...

con·sen·sus/kənˈsensəs/
Noun: General agreement

If you have a large majority of the same opinion on the same topic, then while everyone may not directly come out and say "hey, we all agree," then it is a cohesive agreement that can be taken as a consensus. General ignorance? So nobody knows what the fuck they're talking about but you, eh? That perception seems more like general ignorance on your part in my eyes.
And just so I don't come across as seeming unfair, do tell: if Evoken aren't funeral doom, what are they?
Mr. Doctor - 02.12.2012 at 19:34  
Written by Apothecary on 02.12.2012 at 19:28
if Evoken aren't funeral doom, what are they?


He would probably call it just death/doom.

Then again... I'm pretty sure he would deny how Funeral Doom started off as simply playing death/doom slower + keys.
Apothecary - 02.12.2012 at 19:39  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 02.12.2012 at 19:34

Written by Apothecary on 02.12.2012 at 19:28
if Evoken aren't funeral doom, what are they?


He would probably call it just death/doom.

Then again... I'm pretty sure he would deny how Funeral Doom started off as simply playing death/doom slower + keys.

Seriously, such specificities, while interesting, don't overly matter to me. As was previously stated, people go off of what style a band adheres to based upon general agreement and general adherence of the band to such a style. Case closed, this diatribe is really beginning to beat a dead horse.
Merchant of Doom - 02.12.2012 at 19:40  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.12.2012 at 19:26

Written by Merchant of Doom on 02.12.2012 at 19:20

They don't. Lots of wrong opinions don't make consensus, they just make general ignorance. You should know better than this. I'm disappointed.

Regarding the unprovable such as religion, yes, regarding something that IS defined by mass opinion, no. Most metalcore doesn't contain punk yet it is defined as such. It becomes a neoligism to describe a particular sound, and the vast majority regard Evoken to have distinct ties to the funeral doom genre because they have a sound which is readily associated with it. That is the way it is. You saying that it's not true does not make it so.

What I find disappointing is how much time you spend wasting and losing sleep over such a pithy and, I repeat, completely irrelevant, topic. It's a little sad.



You are really clutching at straws, now, aren't you? It's opinions and I don't really understand why you are getting so uptight about it.
Merchant of Doom - 02.12.2012 at 19:41  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 02.12.2012 at 19:34


He would probably call it just death/doom.



If that "he" is me , then yes, I would call Evoken death/doom.
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.12.2012 at 19:44  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 02.12.2012 at 19:40

You are really clutching at straws, now, aren't you? It's opinions and I don't really understand why you are getting so uptight about it.

Who's getting uptight? Either you're seeing things that aren't there or trying to elevate my posts to some kind of incoherent ramblings as a way of debunking them. Your posts seem rather more "uptight" than mine. At least I'm trying to offer explanation, not your tried and tested "You're simply wrong" tropes.

As for clutching at straws, I don't quite know what you mean. Majority rule = Evoken have ties to funeral doom. Minority (you and a few other stragglers) = Evoken have no relation to funeral doom. That seems to be an apparent fact, not straw clutching.
Merchant of Doom - 02.12.2012 at 19:47  
They do have ties to funeral doom (some tracks have influences), but generally they are NOT a funeral doom band. Describing them as a funeral doom band is misleading. Not too difficult to understand. And I'm not getting uptight at all... We agree to disagree, but please stop insulting. It's childish.
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.12.2012 at 19:49  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 02.12.2012 at 19:47

They do have ties to funeral doom (some tracks have influences), but generally they are NOT a funeral doom band. Describing them as a funeral doom band is misleading. Not too difficult to understand. And I'm not getting uptight at all... We agree to disagree, but please stop insulting. It's childish.

It's not my fault if you were insulted
Merchant of Doom - 02.12.2012 at 19:54  
Read your first post... you always do it.
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.12.2012 at 19:57  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 02.12.2012 at 19:54

Read your first post... you always do it.

That's not an insult, that is exactly what I think the case is.
Marcel Hubregtse - 02.12.2012 at 20:02  
How is that first post by JOOE insulting?
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.12.2012 at 20:04  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 02.12.2012 at 20:02

How is that first post by JOOE insulting?

I guess if he was insulted by it then it's insulting I must have hit a nerve...
Apothecary - 02.12.2012 at 20:06  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 02.12.2012 at 19:54

Read your first post... you always do it.

Since when do clear, concise points layered with a splash of tongue-in-cheek sarcasm mean insults?
Slayer666 - 02.12.2012 at 20:16  
This really is a great Death/Doom album.

*pours gasoline on the fire*
Apothecary - 02.12.2012 at 20:18  
Written by Slayer666 on 02.12.2012 at 20:16

This really is a great Death/Doom album.

*pours gasoline on the fire*

....and then, the butterfly effect took hold, causing a tsunami to strike Indonesia. How dare you.
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.12.2012 at 20:20  
Written by Slayer666 on 02.12.2012 at 20:16

This really is a great Death/Doom album.

*pours gasoline on the fire*

At least you didn't say "Doom/Death" then shit would definitely hit the fan.
Slayer666 - 02.12.2012 at 20:20  
Written by Apothecary on 02.12.2012 at 20:18

....and then, the butterfly effect took hold, causing a tsunami to strike Indonesia. How dare you.


Indonesia? Fuck, I was aiming for Japan...

Seriously, though, thanks for the review. There's a pretty good chance I would've missed this album if the review hadn't appeared on the front page.
Raging Dreamer - 02.12.2012 at 20:23  
I think it's simply the fact that he insists on having the last and final word. At least that's what I get from reading all this amusement. Yes I can hear death/doom but I can also hear definite ties/influences from funeral doom.

But the argument has already expended itself past it's viability. One thing's for sure though, if it keeps up, this review will be listed as a most popular topic in no time flat and Apothecary will be even more famous than he is now.
Marcel Hubregtse - 02.12.2012 at 20:25  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.12.2012 at 20:20

Written by Slayer666 on 02.12.2012 at 20:16

This really is a great Death/Doom album.

*pours gasoline on the fire*

At least you didn't say "Doom/Death" then shit would definitely hit the fan.


well it is more doom/death than death/doom tbh

or... wait, is it more death/doom than doom/death?
Apothecary - 02.12.2012 at 20:26  
Written by Raging Dreamer on 02.12.2012 at 20:23

if it keeps up, this review will be listed as a most popular topic in no time flat and Apothecary will be even more famous than he is now.

A man can dream
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.12.2012 at 20:36  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 02.12.2012 at 20:25


well it is more doom/death than death/doom tbh

or... wait, is it more death/doom than doom/death?

I always thought doom/death would be doom-death, i.e. doomy death metal, and vice-a-versa. But then again doom/death could just mean a balance of both in similar amounts (which would make it the same as death/doom).
Marcel Hubregtse - 02.12.2012 at 20:45  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.12.2012 at 20:36

I always thought doom/death would be doom-death, i.e. doomy death metal, and vice-a-versa. But then again doom/death could just mean a balance of both in similar amounts (which would make it the same as death/doom).


nope, doom/death is more death than doom whereas death/doom is more doom than death.
it's quite simple the right hand head rule applies here. So the element the farthest to the right is the dominant one.
Evil Chip - 02.12.2012 at 21:01  
Now I'm really confused about genres. I always thought this was Funeral
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.12.2012 at 21:37  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 02.12.2012 at 20:45

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.12.2012 at 20:36

I always thought doom/death would be doom-death, i.e. doomy death metal, and vice-a-versa. But then again doom/death could just mean a balance of both in similar amounts (which would make it the same as death/doom).


nope, doom/death is more death than doom whereas death/doom is more doom than death.
it's quite simple the right hand head rule applies here. So the element the farthest to the right is the dominant one.

That's what I said pretty much : p
Reaper_Redeamer - 02.12.2012 at 21:53  
Great album, great review....
Marcel Hubregtse - 03.12.2012 at 00:28  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 03.12.2012 at 00:16

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 02.12.2012 at 20:02

How is that first post by JOOE insulting?


Quote:
because let's be honest: small circle jerk at doom-metal.com is not the masses


that's not insulting? And tell me, Marcel, are Evoken funeral doom? I probably won't get an answer...



I wouldn't call that insulting.

And even though Evoken aren't 100% funeral doom they have more than enough funeral doom elements in their sound to be called as such. you can't call them doom/death, death/doom either since they also aren't that fully. They are a borderline band, so it is alright to call them either.

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