Evoken
Atra Mors


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (197 Reviews)
November 27th, 2012 | 17 replies | 2,143 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A switch in Evoken’s line up hasn’t really changed too much and after a five year wait Altra Mors displays a band content with their music.

There is a high chance that Atra Mors may never live up to hallmarked and successful Antithesis of Light which was perceived by many as a classic funeral doom record. Evoken continue their nihilistic atmospheric approach to the music despite a change within (this being that founding member/guitarist Nick Orlando called it quits after A Caress of the Void) and create an oppressive, lengthy and to a certain point suffocating listen as many features entwine in typical Evoken fashion. Atra Mors moves deliberately, pulsing through a tumult of eerie yet smoothly melodic piano phrases, growls rung out riffs all of which complement, reinforce and push towards the end of this hour and so long minimalistic affair. The record itself isn’t exactly an easy listen – it’s not meant to be. This New Jersey five piece maintain a dredging and eerie atmosphere throughout Atra Mors (not to mention there other full lengths) and build upon a foundation present in the already mentioned Antithesis of Light even after a five year wait. The only downside for listeners is that the change in line up doesn’t really provide too much a fresh feel for the record.

Dissonant melodies punctuate through the majority of the album, combined with deep growls, steady drum patterns and equal tempo phrasing. Evoken don’t really explore tempo shifts nor do they break away from what is the typical Evoken soundscape. Notes resonate clearly through the production and accent that Evoken haven’t really lost too much of their creative input. The professional production aids the album in every way possible. Without having the notes ring clearly and the flanger (guitar, found in ‘Grim Eloquence’) effects float through the atmosphere would be lost under static and buzz. For the most part Evoken displays technique of a veteran band. Since the band’s inception in 1994 with their debut Shades of Night Descending Evoken have roughly enjoyed a successful recipe without having to overly deviate it’s form. Atra Mors isn’t overly distinguishable in a track by track form. The album progresses in a manner where tracks blend together brought together by a couple of instrumental passages that if nothing else help reinforce the minimalistic approach found in all of Evoken’s albums. While Atra Mors may not be an improvement on Antithesis of Light it does in fact improve on the previous record A Caress of the Void; where A Caress of the Void didn’t stray away from an already cemented sound Atra Mors had half a decade to be built. None of the record feels rushed (this is clear in a record that’s one hour and seven minutes long) nor are any of the musical representations shallow in their making. Every note, every growl has its place and is used to maximise the albums overall atmosphere. Evoken haven’t done anything out of the ordinary but they have displayed how to do the stuff they already knew how to really well.

Overall Atra Mors displays a worship of nihilistic and minimalistic passages all brought together in a culmination five years in the making. The record may not surpass the ‘best of the best’ but does manage to rival the band’s consistent catalogue and the works of other similar minded groups (Until Death Overtakes Me, Ash Borer and Samothrace to name a few). The band’s dissonant tones combine with ringing chords and an impressive use of deep growls to highlight Evoken’s Atra Mors in a highly positive light. For fans of the band’s previous records there isn’t too much that differentiates but it should keep for a number of repeated listens. As for those new to the band or the genre it isn’t that much of a bad place to start. Evoken enter the race (even if a little slowly) for a doom metal record of 2012 reinforcing the fact that the band still has after all these years what it takes to release a quality record.



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user ratings (55)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
kvltwalter (4)
Evoken puts the "funeral" in "funeral-doom" with their latest soundtrack to your death....

CaptainDooRight (3.5)
A maturing funeral doom metal band sits at the height of its accomplishments....


Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
November 26th 2012


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I know my swashbuckling pirate death metalling bro got to this before me and our rating aren't that different but i wanted to put my take up here as well. Cheers guys.

Eclecticist
November 27th 2012


3863 Comments


this looks really metal look at that album art omg

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2012


4424 Comments


Really great work here, mate. I gotta check these guys out. Have a POS.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2012


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Josh, paper back definately but start with antithesis of light first.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2012


8357 Comments


I've got Antithesis of Light by these guys but never really got into it. I think I'll pass on this for the time being and see if I can get into Antithesis of Light better or not.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2012


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I have been waiting for you to find this review for close to six hours now man.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2012


8357 Comments


Well, I've been in classes for the last 3 hours and before that I was sleeping ;)

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2012


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

At least you have a good excuse lol.see I was working the last 12 hours of the day,
cooking food for half a city.

Wizard
November 27th 2012


19389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

[i/]A Caress of the Void[i/])

Coding error.

I really like how you described them without having to use Funeral Doom over and over. Well done!

Also, you seem to love Antithesis of Light quite a bit. Quietus blows that record out of the water and is one of the best in the genre.

Digging: Mistigo Varggoth Darkestra - The Key to the Gates of the Apocalypse

Tyrael
November 27th 2012


20875 Comments


Sputnik needs doom metal tags damn

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

CaptainDooRight
November 27th 2012


29106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

swee rev brethren of breths, pos'd and lackimsheerdans

Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

MO
November 27th 2012


18642 Comments


yea this is awesome

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2012


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys and wiz ill fix that right away. I actually hadn't heard too much of that album, ill go more in depth.

Amphoteric
June 18th 2014


1811 Comments


I really need to check this album out. I loved Antithesis of Light, but for some reason never really gave this a lot of attention. The track Descent Into Chaotic Dream is mesmerizing.

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

SharkTooth
July 2nd 2014


4296 Comments


I want to start listening to funeral doom, is this a good place to start?

Amphoteric
July 2nd 2014


1811 Comments


I'd say either Antithesis of Light or Call of the Wretched Sea by Ahab would be a good place to start.

DikkoZinner
July 2nd 2014


3072 Comments


Or some Skepticism

Digging: Skinless - Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead



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