Funeral doom metal has been something that I’ve always been drawn to without exception ever since my fascination with the concept of ultra-long songs being implanted in my brain six years ago, and it’s a love that has only grown over time. While over the year’s we’ve been spoiled by growing acts like Bell Witch, Un, Clouds, Loss, Ahab, Drown, and much more, there are always unknown names ready to rise at any given moment. Given the always-stupendous work from Lewandowski being cover here, peak funeral doom is all one can hope for going into Atramentus’ long due debut, and the ensuing 45 minutes are no less than staggering.
With this being the debut album from this band, I feel it’s not wrong for me to say that many of us weren’t expecting anything like this even if all the signs were there. Great label, stunning art, eight years of history for this album alone between being shelved for years before dusting off two years ago the evolve into the beast that it is, and tantalizing excerpts pre-release; what wasn’t there to get excited about? Finally, when I sat down to listen to “Stygian” and hours after listening to just three tracks, it became more than apparent just what exactly was to be had in this album. Without a doubt, Atramentus has created something that should easily be considered the very pinnacle of funeral doom this year if it already hasn’t taken that crown. “Stygian” is absolutely soul-binding from the very beginning with such grandeur being prevalent throughout the entire work and once you let the album sinks its claws into you, it never once gives you the opportunity to release yourself. It’s as slow and lumbering as any funeral doom release with all the twists and turns that you could as for as Atramentus make the entirety of “Stygian” a canvas like few others where anything goes, the sheer heaviness is their paintbrush, and the end result is nothing short of monolithic glory the likes of which we only get once every few years. It is a spectacle in every manner of the word, and any fan of the style that hasn’t already listened to this work is missing out on something that has great potential to be their new favorite album of the year.
Everything needed for a grand work of the world of funeral doom is in full effect with “Stygian” is a way that’s beyond remarkable in every respect, and it should go without saying that with all the newcomers to the scene that we may have seen in the last few years it’s here with Atramentus that we’ve gotten something else entirely. From top to bottom, Atramentus has created something more than special here and I’ll definitely be listening to it for many years to come.
LISTEN to “Stygian” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Atramentus on Facebook here.