Ataraxie have long since established themselves as one of Europe’s most effective and important funeral doom bands, thanks to a handful of focused releases over the course of the new century. Slow Transcending Agony and Anhedonie are rightly considered fundamental albums in the evolution of the genre, as well as the next in order of time, L’Être Et La Nausée: with such premises it was more than legitimate to expect a new performance of strength from the group of Rouen. After dissecting the different states of mind converging in a widespread existential malaise, Ataraxie tell us today about the resignation in front of the inevitability of an end in some ways even desired, in the light of a human race that never as today seems headed towards a relatively rapid and deserved extinction. The death doom funeral here loses any hidden connotation consolatory, to make way for an angry disgust that does not shy away completely melodic openings designed to evoke only despair rather than a self-indulgent melancholy. People Swarming, Evil Ruling is a song of rare hardness, thanks to which the square riffs fall like the axe of the executioner on the unfortunate who resignedly await their turn, as depicted on the cover: the new line-up with three guitars, in this sense, brings to its extreme consequences the power of a sound that sometimes takes the form of a menacing rumble, as in the title track that leads to a spasmodic crescendo in its final, leaving on the ground only rubble wet with blood and tears. The departure of the founding member Sylvain Esteve has brought in two more guitarists, Julien Payan and Hugo Gaspar, to join the historical core of the band formed by Jonathan Théry (bass and vocals), Frédéric Patte-Brasseur (guitar) and Pierre Senecal (drums) and this, while it may have slowed down the compositional process for the new work, on the other hand has given the sound a robustness and solidity that borders on impenetrability; even in Coronation Of The Leeches, which begins with more rarefied arpeggios, is the power of the riffs combined with the merciless growl of Théry the constant of a compositional structure that allows the rare steps from the most painful gait in the final Les Affres Du Trépas, twenty-five minutes that drain from the psychic point of view without giving illusory glimmers of hope, but cloaked in the oppressive solemnity that results in a funeral by the connotations more desperate than ever. The sense of emptiness, the resignation, is all that remains to human beings, poor extras in that cheap film with an impossible happy ending that is their stay on the planet: Ataraxie, among the possible painful singers of this millennial tragedy, confirm themselves as absolutely among the best.
2019 – XenoKorp / Deadlight Entertainment / Weird Truth Productions