This tape release heralds a new era for the band, as they now have two new members in the band handling bass and guitar. With the bass driving a deadpan punk narrative self eulogizes over the lingering guitar. The over all sound here is closer to death rock as it's stripped down. While some of the heavier moments from their catalogue play off layers of heaviness, This carries a raw urgency. It does build up into the kind of cathartic metal explosion we have come to know them for. They delve into darker depths of punk on "Repent". Lenny Smith gives a more Peter Murphy like vocal. There is a little less of a black metal scowl to the harsher vocals and more of pained hardcore roar.
The bass line to "Spider" creeps from out of the dark. The guitar takes more of a background role sitting back to let the bass carry most of the weight. The guitar does a have cool tone on this song that is different from what we have heard from this band in the past. This creates the feeling that Lenny is having a emotional breakdown in his screamed outbursts as the rest of the band lurks behind him brings the shadows in the wake of the ritualistic pulse. The doomier side of what they do is indulged on "Void". The new guitarist doesn't bring out the same kind of dense over driven layers, but proves to be effective in this more refined direction that are heading. Four minutes into the throb of this song, they continue to build the seething drone. Smith exclaims here that he is everyone you hate that he is the void, so the rage on this song is pointed both outward and inward.
Atriarch is one of my favorite new band's of the past decade, so I might be protective in regards to changes that might shift them away from the sound I have come to love. I trust their new direction as it proves that darkness is just as heavy as being metallically heavy. The emotional heaviness is very honest and feels more real than many bands who put on the angst ridden act when they get on stage. I don't feel the same ritualistic approach that they once had, but perhaps the ritual here is more internalized and has become a working part of their sound. I'll give this one a 10, if you are a fan who stuck around for the turn into a more death rock sound on the last album then, this will not be a jarring transition.