Review: Atragon – Volume I

Posted: January 12, 2014 in Reviews
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Atragon are an Edinburgh sludge/doom band that I first came across when they supported St Vitus early last year in Glasgow. I was so impressed by their live performance that I went straight to the merch stand and bought their EP, ‘Volume I’. They came across live as a combination of EyeHateGod and Electric Wizard, and I was anxious to see if they captured this terrific sound on record.

Opening track ‘The Sound in the Halls’ opens with a titanic doom riff; its fuzzy, its heavy, its very Electric Wizard. That wins them major brownie points with me, because I love the Wizard and things that sound like them. The whole track is a ten minute crawl through Lovecraftian horror, keeping the menacing groove just right while adding layers of howling vocals and thick, murky fuzz. It’s frankly brilliant, and feels half as long as it is. ‘Jesus Wept’ is another thunderous ode to the riff, starting slow but then producing something almost upbeat. It gallops along like Reverend Bizarre’s ‘The Devil Rides Out’, but with much more fuzz and menace. There’s a tinge of Candlemass style epic, before it all comes to a crushing halt at the sound of the Earth wrenching open and everything collapsing into doom. It then lurches forward, pace slowly increasing until the crushing gallop returns.

These two tracks show what a special proposition Atragon are. Combining some brilliant riffing, thick atmosphere and the spirit of doom’s forefathers, the Edinburgh lads have put together a great package. Doom lives on.

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