ATARAXY “The Last Mirror”

By Dr. Abner Mality

It seems there has been a huge resurgence of death/doom metal recently. Along with the latest from TEMPLE OF VOID,”The Last Mirror” by Spain’s ATARAXY is surely the top of the miserable heap when it comes to doleful, slow motion crush. The press sheet bemoans the underrated status of this band and I can only agree and feel some shame myself at not paying them enough heed.

This is just about everything a death/doom album should be. The opening duo of “Presages”/”The Bell That Constantly Sounds” is a total blueprint for how this kind of music should be done, with monstrous riffs, pained vocals and a somber sense of loss pervading each note. Magnificent stuff! ATARAXY certainly does not rely on slow tempos alone, as “Decline” and “Silence” both have plenty of fast, raging death metal to get the neck loose. Fast tempos pop up throughout the course of the album, but never usurping the funeral paced trudge that dominates.

Another cool trick here is that each song possesses its own character and temperment. They are easily told apart and don’t disintegrate into faceless piles of muck. The lengths of the songs are considerable but not ridiculous. Nothing breaks the 10 minute mark. A song doesn’t HAVE to be super long to be effective death/doom. ATARAXY have learned that lesson. Why don’t so many others?

Lovers of bands ranging from CANDLEMASS to SKEPTICISM should find “The Last Mirror” to be a first class effort!