Album Review – Atrament / Eternal Downfall (2016)

If the downfall of humanity demanded a soundtrack, it would be undoubtedly the brutal and macabre blackened music by this amazing American horde.

Rating4

12inch_3mm_v92012.inddWhile listening to the hellish Eternal Downfall, the debut full-length album by American Blackened D-Beat Crust/Death Metal horde Atrament, one big question came to my mind in regards to their music style. Would Atrament be a heavier-than-usual Punk Rock band with huge European influences, especially from the unparalleled sounding of Norwegian Black Metal, or a Death Metal band highly inspired by the Gothenburg sound with a strong hardcore/punk attitude? Either way, the music by this amazing band from Oakland, California will crush your mind and leave you completely disoriented, similarly to what iconic bands such as Bolt Thrower, Napalm Death and Darkthrone do. Needless to say, if you’re a fan of fast and furious metal music, you’re going to love the experience.

Brought into being in the fall of 2014 in the United States by current and former members of the groups Moral Void, Black September, Necrot and Abstracter, this talented American band offers a thrashy and gripping fusion of different genres of extreme music that together have the impact of a nuclear bomb on the listener, always remaining loyal to the roots of British Anarcho-Punk and Scandinavian Black and Death Metal from the 90’s. The amazingly obscure artwork by American illustrator Stephen Wilson (Unknown Relic) is already a good indication of how vile and cataclysmic the music found in Eternal Downfall is, but I suggest you hit play and, if you have the guts, enjoy each one of the album’s 11 ruthless compositions.

Atrament do not fool around and start blasting their brutal and macabre blackened music already from the very first second of the opening track, No Beyond, a powerful blend of Black, Thrash and Death Metal where guitarist James Meyer fires blazing riffs while lead singer Mattia Alagna doesn’t sound he’s living a happy moment at all. And before you can catch the slightest breath, here comes the barbaric tune Sunken Reign effectively boosted by its Punk Rock/Hardcore elements, with highlights to the sick beats by drummer Chad Gailey; followed by Aberration, a faster and more demonic song with a cutthroat ambience that will make you feel uncomfortable for sure. This amazing composition brings forward two and a half minutes of the perfect amalgamation between Black Metal and Hardcore, with noticeable influences from Napalm Death and other aggressive bands.

Atrament[1]James kicks off the massacre entitled Consumed with his solid riffs, being quickly complemented by the deep growling by Matia, the blast beats by Chad and the rumbling bass lines by Sam Carr-Prindle, before the bestial tune Hericide comes with its berserk rhythm and feeling, making the album even more thrilling. It’s nonstop action that should be fantastic when played live, sounding as if The Exploited decided to put on some corpse paint and re-directed the content of their music to all that’s evil. And in the longest of all tracks, Wretched Apparition, which displays hints of old school Slayer and a vibrant Death Metal approach, they really want us all to get completely destroyed inside the circle pit until its suffocating ending.

An imposing intro marks the start of Rotting Twilight, which then showcases metallic bass lines and pure devastation for three and a half minutes, while Aeon of Suffering “informs” us there’s absolutely no time to rest due to its high-speed carnage that brutally goes on from start to finish. And in World of Ash we are beautifully smashed by the most wicked form of Blackened Death Metal, led by the great riffs by James and the visceral vociferations by Mattia. As ferocious as a wolf in the wild, Atrament keep kicking ass with an incredible amount of stamina in Circle of Wolves, becoming impossible not to go for some good slamming while listening to this tune; whereas Dusk Abuse provides us all one final blast of dark and extreme music where it’s obvious the band’s main goal is the total extermination of mankind. They make sure no one is left alive after listening to it, with James and Chad speeding up their pieces and therefore adding an extra dosage of insanity to the music.

Atrament can be found on Facebook if you want to get in touch with the band and send them a message, and in case you want to purchase their fiendish opus, Eternal Downfall is available at their BandCamp page, at the Broken Limbs Recordings’ webstore, at the Argento Records’ Big Cartel page or at the Sentient Ruin Laboratories’ BandCamp page. If the downfall of humanity (we’re already experiencing nowadays) had a soundtrack, I’m pretty sure it would be very similar to the extreme music with a punk attitude Atrament can flawlessly generate.

Best moments of the album: Aberration, Hericide and World of Ash.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Broken Limbs Recordings/Argento Records/Sentient Ruin Laboratories

Track listing
1. No Beyond 2:14
2. Sunken Reign 2:31
3. Aberration 2:22
4. Consumed 3:08
5. Hericide 2:33
6. Wretched Apparation 3:44
7. Rotting Twilight 3:28
8. Aeon of Suffering 2:26
9. World of Ash 2:47
10. Circle of Wolves 2:34
11. Dusk Abuse 3:34

Band members
Mattia Alagna – vocals
James Meyer – guitar
Sam Carr-Prindle – bass
Chad Gailey – drums

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