Alaric/Atriarch - Split

This is a first for me since I have never reviewed a split before, but when given this proposition it was too good to neglect. So without further ado here's the West Coast collaboration of Alaric and Atriarch.

First out is Alaric from Oakland, CA, with the songs Memory Assault, So Far Down and Weep. Upon seeing their name I thought of the King of the Visigoths and immediately expected to hear only goth music - I know I am a moron sometimes. Instead I am treated to a real nice version of early 80's Killing Joke mixed with a dollop of doom...and actually a pinch of goth. Not as much as I thought though. Doom is one of my favourite genres and I grew up on a healthy dose of Killing Joke. So Alaric had me from the word go.

What they bring to the table is some very cool atmospheric yet demented and punishing the best possible way! They're not super fast or brutal in their approach instead they opt for a mid-tempo range that allows their insanity to run free and I love it. When you think everything is good and calm they immediately change and you feel the craziness press you down while the demons in your head are escaping. All three songs almost works like a three-chapter story depicting a truly demented person's mental sufferings. Fantastic!
A great start to this split and I will definitely check out their self-titled debut that is already out on 20 Buck Spin.

Atriarch from Portland, OR, finish the album with two songs, Oblivion and Offerings. They kind of have Alaric's love of early 80's Killing Joke and doom but they add a bit of aggro-punk into the mix along with some trippy elements. That is the most apparent in their second song Offerings. Oblivion is a fast in-yer-face tune that brings forth Atriarch's punk influences. Singing-wise its almost hardcore but the music keeps it punkish, hard and raw. Offerings is a slower and longer song, it's almost pshycedelic yet they maintain their punk attitude while putting some death metal into the fray.

I like their music but it took me longer to grasp it but that doesn't matter, sometimes it takes a while for a poor ruined mind like mine to comprehend things. As long as you grasp it whether it's good music or not. Atriarch are in my ears more adventuros than Alaric by stepping out of the box more and explore more avenues that will fit into their scheme of things. Maybe that's why it took the Swedebeast some time to understand the Oregonians.

Despite their common love for Killing Joke and doom both bands are two distinct entities and move within their own spheres. However working together on this spilt they connect so beautifully in all their respective insanity. There is such a fantastic flow through all the songs that keeps everything together even though the songs wants to explode and set free the madness!
20 Buck Spin released a beauty here and, even though its a 5-track split-LP, should be regarded in it's own right. The bands have created a beast that should be unleashed to the masses....although I strongly believe the masses would crumble and fall under the weight of this sonic onslaught of dementia. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful!