Over the course of three albums, Chicago’s The Atlas Moth have shown signs of both significant transformation, and of a band on the verge of delivering something spectacular. Where the second album, An Ache For The Distance (Profound Lore) brought the buzz with their Neurosis influenced brand of post-Metal beginning to develop from the debut release, the follow up The Old Believer (Profound Lore) firmly put them on the map, opening up to wider expanses and a greater diversity in their sound.
Whilst it may have taken four years (a long time in today’s musical climate) for the follow-up, Coma Noir (Prosthetic) represents a chrysalis like awakening that’s truly remarkable.
Following on from four years of near endless touring on numerous types of bills, the progress that Coma Noir makes from its predecessors is of little surprise; whether it is in the convincing intensity and passion in every riff, passage, and pore, or in its wide yet subtle diversity throughout.
From its pummelling, opening title track which rumbles immediately into view like a stampede, through to the Hawkwind meets Mastodon psychedelic love affair of ‘Galactic Brain’, the 80’s synth wave through death metal elements, or the Stoner Doom meets classic Metal worship of ‘Chloroform’; Coma Noir is packed with range and ideas. Coma Noir brings all this together, however, with such a fluidity and character that it all sounds organic and unique to the band, rather than disparate components without a true end product.
Since their early days, The Atlas Moth have been underground favourites and continuously delivered, be that on pure quality of output or on the notion of moving forward; but the leap that Coma Noir makes from previous works is a monumental achievement of diversification while still retaining a completely core sound and some excellent, memorable songwriting laden with a sack full of riffs. Coma Noir is a huge effort which should not only conquer their underground ballpark, but beyond too, and will be seen as one of the year’s most rewarding and brilliant releases.