Ataraxie
Slow Transcending Agony


4.5
superb

Review

by rasputin USER (196 Reviews)
December 15th, 2007 | 145 replies | 19,098 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If you like Death metal, but want it served to you with a side of Doom, Ataraxie are the band for you. A great combination of Death metal and Funeral doom.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Doom metal requires a lot of patience. A lot of it is painstakingly boring, and it takes a good band to rise above the rest of the monotonous music and make an album which is original and exciting. And exciting doom metal is rarely available, as ‘exciting’ does not fit very well with the whole idea of doom metal. Ataraxie’s Slow Transcending Agony however, manages to be slow and brutal, yet isn’t dull at all. Rather, it lurches along at a decent speed, pounding your skull with immense riffs and strong beats. There aren’t really any obvious attempts at making an atmosphere, instead the album sounds incredibly heavy. It keeps going, and doesn’t let up, other than the occasional dark and mellow passage. And I love the way they have incorporated the mellow and tranquil sections in the album; they are almost like the ‘eye before the storm’.

The first thing to notice is that Ataraxie have gone back to the basics. Rather than making an atmosphere with keyboards, synth, orchestra or various other techniques, they maintain the mood of the album through variations in the music itself. Rather than repeating the same riff over and over again with changes in the background music, Ataraxie play very progressively, changing the shape of the music according to the emotion that they’re trying to convey. The one thing I liked was that they did not stick to the slow pace throughout the entire album. There are moments when the music reaches a climax and picks up the pace, furiously stepping up the rhythm. An example is the ending of the second track, Funeral Hymn. So yes, this is very heavy and guitar-based doom metal, sort of a funeral doom version of Swallow the Sun.

The technicality of the album is relative to doom metal; however, they up the ante in the more climatic moments. Other than that, the drumming and guitar is reasonably simple, but very effective. It was the variation in the rhythm that kept the album interesting. Some of the doom metal I’ve listened to just uses the same riffs and melodies over and over again, which just gets annoying after 10+ minutes. Of the 5 songs onSlow Transcending Agony, 4 of them are longer than ten minutes (the one that isn’t is the intro), and despite the length, holds onto your interest. Due to its progressive nature, I was not bored at all listening to the album. There are countless awesome riffs throughout the album, and even though they aren’t overly technical, or even fast, they are incredibly heavy, and basically drive the album. The best part about it is that asides from being so heavy, Ataraxie seem to have a great deal of melody in their music. The transitions from the mellow sections to the heavier parts are very smooth, and there are no lapses in the melody. The majority of the album is very brutal, but it is all made even better with the inclusion of the melancholic, clean sections. The album has a very bassy feel to it, but the bass isn’t predominant. It’s just there, pushing things along, adding more to each crushing blow Slow Transcending Agony throws at you. Same with the drums, they are simplistic, and just add to the excellence. They blast-beats sound great though, really blowing you away. Just listen to the beginning of the final track, it sounds like typical death metal, but slows down into the doom as the song progresses. Brilliant stuff.

The album begins with the shortest song, a 6 minute introduction, which just blows your face open with intense, heavy riffing, setting the standard for the songs to follow. There aren’t any vocals on the opener, and I actually thought it was the worst song on the album. This is because the vocals really make up a vital part of Slow Transcending Agony , and that song was void of Jonathan Thery’s exemplary vocals. Whether he be growling a low and throat-wrenching roar, screaming his head off, or whispering softly in French, he really shines on the album. Considering he also plays the bass, he is a very big part of Ataraxie. The first time you hear him, he’ll be uttering a slow and crushing growl at the beginning of ‘Funeral Hymn’, and the last time will be him going absolutely insane, screaming like a deranged lunatic. He is really amazing. I particularly liked the way in some instances he would just lose the plot and just let out agonising, tortured screams. Ignoring the fact that this album combines the best parts of death metal and funeral doom in a talented way, the vocals are what make this album even better. Compared to such bands as Wraith of the Ropes or Tyranny, Ataraxie really prove that there are bands that are still making good doom.

Overall, Slow Transcending Agony is one of the better doom albums that I’ve listened to lately, and definitely was a relief from all the bad doom that I’ve unfortunately come across. This is definitely a good album to listen to if you want a bridge between death metal and doom metal, as it has great elements from both genres. Highly recommended.



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user ratings (80)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
rasputin
December 15th 2007



14516 Comments


This review took me ages, not sure why. I also feel as if I've waffled a bit, maybe even made the review seem slightly obscure. If that's the case, please say something and I'll try and make it a little more straightforward.

Crimson
December 15th 2007



1935 Comments


Good review, this sounds very interesting.

jrowa001
December 15th 2007



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i have been liking a bit of funeral doom lately, ill look into this

Pebster49
December 15th 2007



2991 Comments


oooo Doom Death! is it anything like Novembers Doom?

rasputin
December 16th 2007



14516 Comments


It's not really like Novembers Doom, it's more of a combination of death and Funeral doom, not just plain doom. So it's a lot more slower than Novembers Doom.

Nostalgia
December 16th 2007



64 Comments


Great funeral doom.

Confessed2005
December 17th 2007



3314 Comments


Rad mix of genres. Sounds pretty cool, I have to be in the right mood for anything doom-ish though.

rasputin
December 17th 2007



14516 Comments


Yeah I know what you mean Confessed. However, when you are in the mood, definitely check this out.

freudianslipknot
December 18th 2007



803 Comments


Good review again. I think I would really enjoy this, especially since you didn't lead me astray with Shape of Despair. Having trouble tracking this down at the moment though . . .

rasputin
December 21st 2007



14516 Comments


If you want to download it, google the title and the word blogspot, I am certain there is one blogspot that is sharing the album.

BallsToTheWall
December 21st 2007



44164 Comments


Missed this review somehow. Pretty good as usual, probaly myspace this later on.

rasputin
December 21st 2007



14516 Comments


Yeah, my reviews always seem to disappear quickly

freudianslipknot
December 21st 2007



803 Comments


Thanks, just checked and it is indeed available for download. I have a few network challenges at the moment that interfere with my downloading capacity but these will be overcome in the fullness of time

rasputin
December 22nd 2007



14516 Comments


Haha, no problem
I think you'd like this anyway.

rasputin
January 1st 2008



14516 Comments


I decided to bump this up to a 4.5. The band has achieved everything they needed to do. The only thing stopping this from being perfect is the intro track, which I find quite boring.

charlesfishowitz
March 31st 2008



1794 Comments


god, the tormented screams in funeral hymn are so effin epic...and despondency is one of the best doom metal songs i've heard in a long time..

great review.

rasputin
March 31st 2008



14516 Comments


thanks, I'm glad you liked it, it's a friggin awesome album.

rasputin
April 12th 2008



14516 Comments


Whipped this out again today, it blew me away as much as it did on my first listen. Can't wait for their new album.

charlesfishowitz
April 13th 2008



1794 Comments


*bump..




this album still makes my ears jizz.This Message Edited On 04.13.08

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2008



16242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gimmie gimmie gimmie!



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