Perhaps it’s simply because they are completely unknown by comparison (am I really that shallow?), but I find the debut album from Spanish four-piece Ataraxy to be vastly superior to recent contributions from more-revered names like Carcass, Autopsy, Suffocation and Gorguts. Damn, even the latest efforts from the mighty Immolation and Coffins aren’t as enjoyable as ‘Revelations Of The Ethereal’.
The opening instrumental has me thinking of Dexter the TV serial killer for some reason and it’s followed by seven substantial slabs of obscure underground desolation. While there’s nothing particularly innovative going in, we are nonetheless treated to 44 minutes of thoroughly-commendable and cleverly-thought-out Death Metal that’s obviously rooted in the past but somehow manages to sound fresh, vibrant and – crucially – relevant.
Maybe it takes newer bands with enthusiasm and – dare I say it? – youth on their side to pull off this kind of music successfully but, for whatever reason, I’m totally digging listening to this humble and grounded offering. Admittedly, Ataraxy’s debut full-length is pretty straightforward, and arguably even derivative, but it is undoubtedly inspired. I would urge any Death Metal fan with a spare €14 or so in his / her pocket to try out this rumbling, deeply-atmospheric record from an unheralded and interesting newcomer.
The record comes in a classy gatefold cover, with the lyrics included. Read along and enjoy how badly the words are pronounced! Carcass and Suffocation and ________* have all had their day; give the new blood a chance.
*[insert name of washed-up, wrinkly Death Metal veterans of your choice here]