Thursday 14 April 2016

Review: Atrament – 'Eternal Downfall'

'Eternal Downfall'

Broken Limbs continues its already impressive track record with the release of Atrament's latest offering 'Eternal Downfall'. The Oakland, CA based blackened and crusty death metal outfit that blends influences such as Darkthrone, Unleashed, At The Gates, and Napalm Death into an anarchic and unrelentingly grim pressure cooker.

Spiky riffs and death metal grooves combine with a dense atmosphere of searing brutality. Tracks such as 'No Beyond', 'Aberration', 'Hericide', 'Aeon Of Suffering', 'World Of Ash', and 'Dusk Abuse' are hard, fast and heavy attacks by a band who are methodical and surgical in their musicianship. It may not be the kind of album you'd recommend to someone just beginning to explore extreme metal – as this would probably scare them off after 30 seconds – however for those who love it brutal and in particular miss the heyday of the 90s in the extreme metal genre, this will be an essential album.

The production courtesy of Greg Wilkinson is spot on. Plenty of grit in the mix but not at the expense of the quality and lots of fat bottom end to preserve the grooves. So many times a bad production job anc kill an otherwise good album stone dead, but this isn't the case here. Wilkinson has given the band the exact presentation they need to maintain maximum heaviness and still show off their collective skill.

'Eternal Downfall' is a great album. It's unrelenting, fast, and doesn't set out to do anything other than be as heavy as hell. Fans of extreme metal will easily be able to get into this, and they should. It is has a refreshing no nonsense approach that still manages to sound grand and artistically valid in its execution. It will be very interesting to watch this band develop over the next few releases.

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