ATARAXY - Revelations of the Ethereal (ME SACO UN OJO - LP 2013)
Ataraxy’s “Rotten Shit” demo was great. Then their “Curse of the Requiem Mass” was also great, so for their debut album “Revelations of the Ethereal” I had only high expectations. And now I think it shouldn’t be a surprise if I say straight away that this album is also great! More so, it definitely is the most mature and best of all Ataraxy releases so far, so I can only praise the band for releasing such high quality materials and for getting better and better. It actually has almost been a year since “Revelations of the Ethereal” has been released, but it took me a while, before I finally managed to get a copy – I waited for a vinyl release, which finally was spawned by the excellent Me Saco Un Ojo Records. As usually the quality of their vinyls is superb; I love the gatefold cover, with this disturbing landscape, in slimy green colour… if this is how this planet will look like when mankind is erased then I am glad I won’t see it hehe!
I must say that the first listening of “Revelations of the Ethereal” left me totally speechless. I was like “WOW! This is so cool…!” and I was just standing there with my mouth open amazed by this music. I really, really must say that Ataraxy has done an album, which is even better than I would expect… and more so, I think that these Spaniards are one of the very few bands from this current old school death metal wave, which I can say that have an original sound and style. Sure, it still is based on the classic foundations, mainly on the Finnish and Swedish scenes from the early 90’s, but just like bands such as Necrovation, also Ataraxy managed to pass the niche called “cut’n’paste the old riffs” and produced something more individual. And that is already an accomplishment, right? I am also quite amazed how epic “Revelations of the Ethereal” is. This album is mainly based on slower, mid paced tempos, with just few occasional faster parts here and there, but with the melodies and heaviness it results in great, epic and sometimes almost doomy music… which in such performance I worship fully! Such tracks as “Ceremonial Flames”, “Necrotic Shadow of Decay” and “Unreachable Spheres” are pure masterpieces and I dare to say that they are almost impossible to resist. For instance I love the way the album begins… not with a big bang, as many bands would usually do, but with a creepy atmospheric, melodic parts, which hook you up instantly. “Necrotic Shadow of Decay” fastens only in its middle part and crushes everything around, so damn good this song is. Such eruptions of utterly aggressive, violent riffing are not something what you’ll hear on “Revelations of the Ethereal” incredibly often, but once they appear you know it will be a pure death metal slaughter. “Under Veiled Skies” will certainly catch your attention for being the fastest and most uncompromising of all the songs on the album, but it also contains some more melodic and slower parts, so it only proves how diverse and interesting the whole album is.
This transition from the more typical Swedish death metal on “Curse of the Requiem Mass” into what I can hear on “Revelations of the Ethereal” has definitely paid off; the band sounds more mature, more developed and original… And once again I must underline that Ataraxy takes their Finnish and Swedish (with additional Asphyx-iated parts here and there) influences into something new and more epic and often doomier than you would expect, telling their lovecraftian horror stories with an ease and thrill. There are no fillers on the album and every song catches my attention like light catches the moths. I can list some songs for being my favourites, but that doesn’t mean that the rest is any less interesting… The whole material sort of flows smoothly, the harmonious playing is mesmerizing and is almost like a journey for the listener and I join this quest with pleasure, holding the great gatefold in hands, looking at this disturbing picture and reading the lyrics… It is great experience. I recommend you taking this trip into the netherworlds as well.
Standout tracks: “Ceremonial Flames”, “Necrotic Shadow of Decay”, “Unreachable Spheres”, “Under Veiled Skies”
Final rate: 90/100