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Atriarch – “Void” (Song Premiere)

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For poets, their biggest challenge is figuring how to tell readers things they already know in ways they’ve not heard before. Realistically, every emotion or experience has already been felt or lived and then expounded upon by countless other writers. In order for a poem to resonate with readers, those quotidian feelings and events need to be expressed so they seem fresh again. Music works in a similar fashion. With remarkably few exceptions, most new music exists within a familiar set of stylistic templates. The bands we call “boundary-pushing” or “experimental” generally expand or combine those templates in innovative and unfamiliar ways.

For example, gothic rock/post-punk had its heyday between the end of the 1970s and the mid-to-late 1980s. During that period, bands like Bauhaus, The Sisters of Mercy, the Rozz Williams incarnation of Christian Death, and several others released genre-defining records. Now, thirty years later, tendrils of influence from those albums can still be felt throughout modern music, including metal. Portland’s Atriarch have made their name based largely on their blackened, nihilistic take on that gothic template. Each successive release has seen the band take that sound in unexpected directions, from their noisy 2011 debut Forever the End through the more melodic, yearning Ritual of Passage to the tribal aggression of An Unending Pathway.

Their fourth full-length, Dead as Truth, marks another new stage in Atriarch’s evolution. Moodier and more atmospheric than previous releases, it shows the band delving deeper into their gothic side. On a track like “Void,” which we’re premiering below, the band dials back harsh guitar buzz in favor of a sparser, bass-forward arrangement, no less tense for its relative lack of metallic aggression. Brimming with self-loathing, vocalist Lenny Smith’s darkly emotive, lyrical delivery ensures the song still feels almost unbearably heavy. It’s a different kind of heaviness to be sure, but it retains enough of the band’s core blackened, doomed gothic rock sound to still unmistakably feel like Atriarch.

Dead as Truth will be released on August 11. Preorders are currently available via Relapse Records.

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