“A journey through introspective emotions served with classic nineties Doom/Death Metal, tweaked with songwriting nuances and the supreme art of the lead guitar, that is vital in creating the fragile and melancholic impact which is one of the main trades of this style.”
There´s something very honest and noble about wearing your influences on your sleeve and yet manage to create something that´s your own. To me, that´s smart and quite an achievement in itself. Originally self-released back in 2012, “The Hourglass” by sorrowful U.S. trio Atten Ash now gets its rightfully deserved treatment, which sees Hypnotic Dirge Records releasing it worldwide.
This renewed debut album takes you on a journey through introspective emotions served with classic nineties Doom/Death Metal, tweaked with songwriting nuances and the supreme art of the lead guitar, that is vital in creating the fragile and melancholic impact which is one of the main trades of this style. There´s a backdrop of classic Doom/Death influences at work here, like Katatonia, October Tide, Paradise Lost, Yearning, all the majors from the nineties when these were practicing the style and furthering the atmospheric benchmark.
The songs flow at a soothing mid-tempo pace, starting with the beautiful couplet “City in the Sea” and “See You… Never”, followed by the more uptempo heaviness found on “Not As Others Were” and the agonizing and swaying sadness of “Born”, eventually fading out with the purging title track painting a bleak scenery of a world that suffers. The obvious Daylight Dies signature in the melodies and leads puts a wonderfully somber and enchanting character to this album, Mr. Gambling hits a new peak here in my honest and gloomy opinion.
Lyrically, this album cries woe and despair from beginning to end. Adapting some of Edgar Allan Poe´s works combined with independent lyrics, the themes brought forth go hand in hand with this style of Metal, evoking an even deeper grief-stricken soundscape. It´s also interesting how the vocal styles are divided in parts. It´s not a typical growls/clean vocal formula being employed, a more modest approach if you will, the clean vocals especially have a unique mournful delivery.
On the surface, it´s easy to shout copycat at Atten Ash´s sonic palette. That´d also be lazy, because underneath the obvious influences lies an intricate web of songwriting that focuses on the synergies created between the riff and the melody. 8/10
City In The Sea
See You… Never
Not As Others Were
Song For The Dead
Waves Of Siloam