Atriarch: Ritual Of Passing

Oregon miserablists offer a majestic final warning

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Oregon gloom merchants Atriarch plunged into soul-crushing depths of doom and despair with their rave-reviewed 2011 debut album, Forever The End. Bringing together blackened doom, funereal sludge and otherworldly atmospherics in unholy matrimony, it was a siren sounding the end of everything that, for once, wasn’t just crying wolf.

OK, so we’re all still here, but if the band’s follow-up treatise is anything to go by, the prognosis for the future is not good. If we didn’t know better, it’d be logical to surmise that Ritual Of Passing is a Swans/Celtic Frost/Khanate side-project, the members of which have come together to celebrate their shared love of doom, dark ambient, post-black metal and the dirgey end of gothic rock.

Extreme music subgenres have been melting and merging for many years, yet few artists have a vision so strong that they can seemingly master them all. Apocalyptic, kaleidoscopic and at times almost spiritual, if the world doesn’t end soon, these guys have their work cut out coming up with something better than this.