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Alaric – “Mirrors” (Song Premiere)

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At long last, after seemingly endless setbacks (including a break-up), the world gets their second Alaric album. The new masters of doomed deathrock gloom made some very powerful statements in their first few years. Their self-titled debut was my favorite release of 2011, and their surprise breakup left a void in me. Sure, there have been other post-punk and deathrock bands which have emerged over the past four years, but none achieved the majestic, gruff despondency which Alaric so quickly mastered. Even after listening to their upcoming album, End of Mirrors, I still find myself feeling all giddy at the prospect of getting bummed to a new Alaric album.

Though they boast Russ “Mr. Hate” Kent of Noothgrush fame, Alaric is not the type of metal band you would normally find on this website—or a metal band at all, for that matter. Though definitely doomed in their own unique way, Alaric is a post-punk band at their core, but End of Mirrors is no Mesh & Lace goth club party anthem. Maintaining a sluggish tribal beat for the majority, “Mirrors” reaches the lowest levels of despondency – psychedelic, woozy, and cold – before reaching a rabid and aggressive conclusion. The groundwork set by bassist Rick Jacobus and drummer Jason Willer meld the simplicity of a strong, locked-in rhythm with enough space for their own tasteful finesse, be it a brief, memorable cymbal flourish or a room-filling sympathetic drone. Kent’s shimmering, sharp guitar work maintains a cutting fuzz, countering Willer and Jacobus’s rich, smooth sound and creates a striking melodic counterpoint with Shane Baker’s distinctly groaning voice. Though I had previously asserted that Alaric had achieved their peak with their contribution to their 2012 split with fellow gloomers Atriarch, “Mirrors” sets the bar higher. Alaric is night music for aging punks – the sound of the last call at an emptied, dimly lit bar slowly purging its last denizens. To quote a song from a previous Alaric release, “the sadness goes on,” and it certainly does.

The long-awaited magnificence of Alaric’s End of Mirrors will be unveiled via Neurot Recordings and Sentient Ruin Laboratories on May 6. Have an exclusive listen to “Mirrors” below and, as always, remember to support your favorite artists.

—Jon Rosenthal

Follow Alaric on Facebook and Bandcamp.

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