The Atlas Moth

A Glorified Piece Of Blue-Sky

Written by: EW on 28/10/2009 16:56:17

Running along tides of sludge, doom and post-metal, Chicago residents The Atlas Moth are a slow and heavy collaboration of souls on this, their debut album "A Glorified Piece Of Blue-Sky". Coming in from the field of dissonant, feedback-heavy doom, TAM resonate with sounds akin to the likes of Unearthly Trance, Minsk, Isis, Bossk and Mastodon yet never sound exactly like any of them. All well and good you might say, but the need to create an enjoyable listen is just as great as that of making your record different from your contemporaries...

Opening track "A Night In Venus' Arms..." should be enough to decide if an album such as this is worth listening to for most people. Reliant on heavy, droning, trippy sounds mixed with juggernaut-sized riffs and a mix of vocal styles (predominated by atonal screams) the claustrophobic feel lends to an album unlikely to be anyone's choice of music when in a bright and happy mood. Not that that is a bad thing however; TAM are aware of building up songs, letting them simmer before reaching a climax of mind-melting metal purity and at times this formula works well. The clean vocals of "Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence", for instance, work a treat, giving significantly greater depth to the song than the throaty screams featured elsewhere - a vocal style I have never been particularly fond of. Such is the weight of the tone and production and the space allowed for droning feedback, quantifiable riffs only come round intermittently, one of my biggest drawbacks from "A Glorified...". More moments like the Mastodon influenced "One Among The Wheat Fields" would push the album up closer to the mark I awarded recently for the similarly sounding Minsk album ("With Echoes In The Movement Of Stone").

Album closer "...Leads To A Lifetime On Mercury", the longest song at 10 minutes against the rest averaging 5-6, opens with some excellent sensual guitar work and with many minutes at it's disposal gradually heads off through territories other, again highlighted by some nice and interesting clean vocal work which contrast greatly against the barks and screams often happening concurrently. Like all albums of this style a particular mood is required to really get into the cavernous sounds being created but what with even being in that style right now (heck I'm seeing Minsk in a few hours!) the sounds of The Atlas Moth don't flow concisely enough to make their debut a great album to enjoy. Lacking colour in many of the album's songs The Atlas Moth have shown a solid base of ideas and potential but to further this is going to require some greater creativity in riff and sound on their next release to create an album that will fuzz my brain out as well as kick my head in.


Download: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence, "...Leads To A Lifetime On Mercury
For The Fans Of: Minsk, Bossk, Mastodon
Listen: Myspace

Release date 06.10.2009
Candlelight Records

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