Coma Noir by The Atlas MothRelease date: February 9, 2018
Label: Prosthetic Records
Chicago’s The Atlas Moth have always been a band with different angles to their metal sound with swathes of sludge, doom and a more progressive approach to their post-metal style. These styles are all present and correct on the band’s latest album Coma Noir, their first album since 2014’s epic The 6th Passenger Is Death and combines the best of them. But at times adds a much harsher metal sound into the mix too, allowing the band to sound more punishing than they have in the past.
This is evident from the album’s opening and the album’s title track, a caustic start to the record and one that impressively sets the tone for the rest of the album and it becomes even more apparent on songs like the electronic tinged hypnotic fury of ‘The Streets Of Bombay’, a magnificent and vast rhythmic beast of a track that will immerse you in its power. This track is prime Atlas Moth, but with an even more discordant edge, the bands music taking many twists and turns, switching from pure aggression to melody in the blink of an eye and with consummate ease and this is the case for the tracks that follow like ‘Actual Human Blood’ and ‘Smiling Knife’. This is music that draws you in and won’t let you go, consuming you with its furious passion and the raw, almost black metal howl of the vocals intertwine perfectly with the frequent and vibrant changes of the music that is played and the music on the album is relentless to be honest and sounds all the better for it.
While Coma Noir is noticeably heavier, the progressive elements that the band are known for are still there too and this is most evident on the marvellous and epically named ‘Last Transmission From The Late, Great Planet Earth’ and the sprawling ‘Galactic Brain’, and these two tracks demonstrate the vitality of Coma Noir tremendously, and with that, don’t forget that in amongst the heaviness is a whole host of melodic goodness.
As Coma Noir concludes with a trio of songs that veer to the heavier end of the spectrum, you can hear how the bands sound has developed. These songs, of course, still show off the band’s sonic diversity with the vicious ‘Furious Gold’ segueing into the berserk sludge of ‘The Frozen Crown’ before the majestic but mournful ‘Chloroform’ finishes things off perfectly, and what a way to finish things off it is, a bruisingly triumphant end to a stunning record.
The Atlas Moth have created an album here that revels in its heaviness and celebrates its diverse sound, all the while showing off an impressive caliber of songwriting and delivery. This is an insanely heavy album but one that combines it with a dazzling array of variety that takes in a whole array of emotions on its audio journey.