The Atlas Moth are a five-piece sludge/post metal band from Chicago. They employ a captivating atmosphere filled with melodic guitar riffs, sometimes taking on a triple guitar attack as well as subtle synths. Another aspect that stands out about their music, is how slow and bluesy it is. The band's earlier work contained Pink Floyd and the Doors covers so it makes perfect sense that they've grown their music into an odd fusion of 60s and 70s rock with their heavy doom sound.
The main emphasis on this album is the interplay between the guitars providing a haunting atmosphere. The rhythm section is very strong as well, maintaining steady head bobbing rhythms that are subject to time changes here and there, making the music very interesting. The subtle ways the rhythm and melody weave in an out, such as the 3:50 mark on the song "25s and Royal Blues." These subtle changes are quite engaging and almost trance inducing. Their is also a healthy mix of clean and unclean vocals. The screams are quite varied sometimes bringing out blood curdling shrieks that come almost out of nowhere. The clean vocals are very monotonous but it does not hurt the music since the guitars are the main focus after all. 25s is a major highlight for the album as well as the opener "Coffin Varnish." While it is short, it packs a punch of riffs and melodies that do not let up. The transitions between riffs are perfect and the last minute and half is bound to get stuck in the listener's head. Where a lot of bands that use multiple instruments playing different melodies can be rather unmemorable, The Atlas Moth never fail to produce engaging and memorable riffs. Part of it might be due to how slow the music is. Early melodic death metal bands come to mind as a comparison to the riffs The Atlas Moth use this distinction will not be the first thing that comes to mind upon listening to this album.
The biggest complaint about this album is the lack of longer songs. This is a heavily doom influenced band and sometimes, as a listener, I would prefer to get sucked into the atmosphere for longer than 3 - 5 minutes. The 7 minute epic "Holes in the Desert" showcases the band taking their time to really let their ideas develop without cutting them short. If they took this approach on every song, I would consider this a 5. If you are more geared toward shorter songs with compelling melodies, this album is perfect. The only other drawback is that some transitions go from very somber, dark melodies to more bluesy hard rock riffs that do not make the most amount of sense considering the riffs that come first. In the end, this is a very fun and engaging listen if you like that cross breed between doom, sludge, and post metal that is both riff heavy and filled with a dense atmosphere.