Random Earworms XI – The Atlas Moth – Coma Noir

4 min read

So we’ve made it all the way to Random Earworms XI and this time I have the honour of again selecting our latest pick. Released in 2018 “Coma Noir” is the fourth album from Chicago Illinois’ The Atlas Moth. The album has been sitting on my Bandcamp wish list for months giving me the eye, so I figured this was a good time for me to give the album some more time and hopefully introduce my friends at BAZ (and you dear readers!) to something you might not have heard before.

Band: The Atlas Moth
Title: Coma Noir
Label: Prosthetic Records
Release date: 09 February 2018
Country: USA

Tom Boatman

As you might have noticed if you’ve read a few of my pieces on BAZ I’m probably “The Sludge Metal Fan” here at BAZ. Of course as with all of us, my tastes are broad, but when I want to listen to something heavy, this is often the area I gravitate towards. While Sludge Metal can be extremely raw and abrasive, The Atlas Moth sit more on the grand, melodic side of the genre. Listening to “Coma Noir” you’ll hear a band whose sound would suit being played on a stage in front of a big audience (well, back when the world allowed such things). Without ever quite sounding like any of these bands I hear elements of Mastodon, a little Tool, perhaps Paradise Lost and many other associations are scratching at the back of my brain. The band’s sound here is really huge and enveloping, the riffs are gargantuan and extremely catchy too. Listening to this album reminds me that so much of the Metal I’ve listened to recently has been so abrasive it’s nice to listen to something that’s both satisfyingly heavy, but melodic too.. read more

Basically I don’t really know how you categorise “Coma Noir”, “Galactic Brain” combines a heavy, stomping beat and swirling guitars with a combination of screamed vocals alongside a more gruff Mastadon-style delivery (I’ll be honest, I don’t know who sings what, but I think there might be three different vocalists altogether) which is pretty hypnotic in the end; “Actual Human Blood” with its chugging rhythm and melodic guitar leads sounds like Meshuggah might do if they decided to take a break from counting and write some vocal melodies; while “The Frozen Crown” is just a great Alternative Metal track (a fucking hate the word “Alternative”, but I don’t know what else to call it) and it’s too catchy for me not to bop my head to in appreciation. An interesting band for sure, and from what I’ve heard they’re always evolving their sound.

Metal Marie’s rection:

Firstly, Thanks Tom, (Tom the Boatman) for choosing this. I did say I’d give it a go and here is what I can say now that I have.

The Atlas Moth are sludge metal with psychedelic influences. Is that all they are? No. In the album “Coma Noir” they embrace the sounds of doom, hardcore, stoner, and psychedelia. The point of this is to expand and create a more diverse sound. In a way, recreate what they are first known for, an honor that, and also break some barriers on new versions of their sound. read more

The first song, the vocals hit hard, but then, surprise when the harmony of the two vocal styles are heard together. It works, the way the one vocal seems off-key and the other vocal provides backing to it, shouting style to a clean and rhythmic melding of both.
In the next tracks, “Last Transmission.. “, “Galactic Brain”, “The Streets of Bombay”, and “Actual Human Blood”, the driving style of vocals are evident, aggressive I found, but strong. I enjoyed. “Smiling Knife”, first I loved the title of that track, and was really taken with the flow and energy of all of the instruments.

“Furious Gold” blends in sludge, the two singing styles, and thought provoking lyrics. For me, was one of my favorite tracks in this album. “The Frozen Crown” and “Chloroform” were another flip of the creative switch of this album. “Chloroform” was another song I really liked. Liked the guitars, and the vocals were slamming.
For not having heard anything from The Atlas Moth, I was pleasantly surprised by what I did hear. Unexpected and different is what I can say about this band. Pushing boundaries and re-creating is a risk, but also strength to have the vision to see it through.

The Key Keeper 666’s reaction:

First of all, I have to say this. Thank you Tom Boatman. Yes, thank you a lot for showing me this band. This band surprised me with music quality. Very good indeed. read more

The Atlas Moth is an experimental atmospheric Sludge Metal. At least in my opinion. But not a “typical” Atmospheric Sludge Metal band. The way they did the songs and especially the way the vocals are done is giving a new “look” to their sound. That was the biggest surprise I had while listening to it.

The sound production is heavy as the majority of the bands playing this music style but at the same time is not so sludgy and dirty. That also surprises me.

I have to admit that is not a music style that I will listen to much because I dont feel myself very related with it, but it’s a band that I will pay attention for future releases because I really did enjoy listening to.

Truly Yours,
Blessed Altar Zine Team

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