Its taken six long years for French extremists ATARAXIE to unfurl their follow-up to 2013’s disturbing L’être et la nausée, six long years spent reinventing themselves after guitarist Sylvain Esteve (a founding member) departed and was replaced by two new guitar players Hugo Gaspar (FATUM ELISUM, MALEMORT) and Julian Payan (SORDIDE, VOID PARADIGM), resulting in the re-arranging of Ataraxie’s entire back-catalogue for the unfamiliarity of three guitarists.
Fortunately, this new line-up appears to have solidified into something special (and this was an exceptional band in the first place), with Ataraxie’s bleak and nihilistic funeral doom meets doom/death output enhanced and, arguably perfected, to the point of mastery.
The agonised howls, foreboding whispers and glass-gargling gutturals of Jonathan Théry unnerve throughout as moments of disquieting languor rally against death metal. Suitably epic but revelling in its unsettling transitions between unbridled aggression and almost ambient, spacious, semi-acoustic mood-building, Ataraxie appear to be at an experimental peak and no idea is left unexplored.
Clocking up almost 80 minutes of torturous music makes Résignés no easy listen – and you’d be forgiven for breaking it down to more manageable chunks – but persist, and you shall be rewarded with an almost perfect example of doom/death; sprawling, hypnotic and absolutely, pant-shittingly, disturbing.
Résignés is an album to rival Ataraxie’s jaw-dropping debut Slow Transcending Agony (2005) and is the first doom/death album of 2019 to truly warrant ‘must-hear’ status.
This, dear friends, is the blackest of art. 9/10
ATARAXIE – Résignés
XENOKORP, DEADLIGHT, WEIRD TRUTH
Release: 8 March 2019
21 minutes to spare? Watch the shit out of this….