My main beef with the music scene is that quality bands are often bypassed due to the sheer amount of music that’s easily accessible. I wanted to review ‘Revelations of the Ethereal’ for a few reasons:
1. The album cover: Nature’s devastation is often overlooked due to people lunging straight into mundanity – the day-to-day routines that hold the illusion of being immortal, but in reality all of the dangers of this world are still very much real and can strike at any moment. Nature’s ferocity has been felt numerous times and has been the main factor of our evolution as a species. We adapt to these dangers so they’re not as hazardous, however they exist as they did 10,000 years ago. Our day-to-day routines won’t save us when the world upheavals. This album cover is a nice depiction of the harshness of nature – which makes sense, because in truth death metal worships nature.
2. More and more bands are seemingly going back to their “roots” (or older styles of death metal) because they’ve realized that the modern trends of all of these new hybrid genres aren’t as impacting as the earlier ‘old school’. Take for example that we have an option of listening to the best album by two bands. One is old school and one is more modern. I’ll pick Morbid Angel – Blessed Are the Sick (BATS) over Behemoth, Job For A Cowboy, or any other newer act that has made successes for utilizing the formulas but not necessarily grasping them. Behemoth would be a more mainstream Morbid Angel formula, which would be music sacrificed to be more accessible — which further loses its impact. Sprinkling glitter on your sound will only appease those that listen to music as background noise and not something to totally immerse oneself in. So, Ataraxy is a band that somewhat goes back to the older schools of death metal. However, there are post-1995 influences and styles here.
3. The promo said that this band is influenced by Asphyx (obvious in the vocals), Chasm, Autopsy and Finnish bands. I suppose that influences and the execution are a bit different because I can hear some Immolation in this (if you’re in the band and reading this – ponder on that). These are very healthy influences to have.
Now for the review of ‘Revelations of the Ethereal’:
The album starts out in standard format. After the intro passes you’re introduced to the styling that will be represented throughout the entire album. Most of the riffs are stitched together in a fashion that everything flows smoothly and there are no hiccups. I can assume that these musicians are well-versed in songwriting because there are no dull moments. When riffs are repeated they’re done so in a way that they’re still interesting as they reemerge. The addition of keyboards help heighten the mood as Ataraxy moves between passages. Most of the songs start with a slow tempo that builds up to a mid tempo. There are occasional blasts that are short lived. Everything flows well.
I found it interesting that halfway through the album there was an intro to the 5th track “Ethereal Slumber”. This song and the others that followed were more stimulating than the first half of the disc. The beginning of the album almost appears like an introduction to the band and the latter half of it seems to be building upon the concepts with more exploration. There isn’t much experimentation since the ‘Revelations of the Ethereal’ consists of formulas derived from other bands, but they’re initiated well enough that Ataraxy stands its own ground.
All in all this is standard death metal. By ‘standard’ I mean that it’s derived from some of the best styles and executed well. I thoroughly enjoyed this album and highly recommend it. It’s a great mixture of old and new. Ataraxy is no bullshit – other bands should take out their notebooks and learn a few things from them.