Where All Hope Fades

Spain’s Ataraxy has had some real nice prior releases. Their 2010 ep, Curse of the Requiem Mass and their debut album Revelations of the Ethereal are pretty crushing death doom albums. After a 6 year break, the band return with their second full-length album-Where All Hope Fades.

There are only 6 true songs, as the first track, “The Absurdity of a Whole Cosmos” is an instrumental, which does nothing for me. The 10+ minute “A Matter Lost in Time” is up next and this is what should have opened the album. I have to hand it to Ataraxy for continuing with the same line-up, as their previous effort as it shows continuity and more growth in their songwriting. This track is quite depressive and heavy, but Ataraxy mixes in quite a bit of bleak atmosphere and melodic parts, which cloaks the doom and gloom passages with an extra layer of depth and meaning. At the 3.30 part it will remind you of the slower rumblings of Bolt Thrower in their prime, when they would mix a little bit of doom into their crushing heaviness. The song gets into a melodic sort of arrangement with a truly excellent snare drum sound-yes the snare drum has a great deep pop to it and then the riffing comes in. 3 minutes later Ataraxy picks up the pace and goes into a fast part, which breaks up some of the early parts to this track, that while good, were starting to go into a more drone rhythm section and I was getting lost. The fast pace comes in at the right time and guitarist/vocalist, Javi once again does a killer spot on Van Drunen impersonation.

“The Mourning Path” is a real kick-ass track and the bass guitar in the beginning has a great sound to it. The song gets right into the fast parts right off the jump and the guitars sound excellent-really original, I have to commend Ataraxy with their guitar riffing and melodies thrown in there. The middle of the track goes right into a slow doom death crawl equipped with nicely placed and patterned double bass drumming. Great epic buildup with the rumbling heaviness and then the melodic ending. Really cool. “The Blackness of Eternal Night”, is over 12 minutes and closes out the album. Opening with an atmospheric and melodic section the beginning is like an instrumental until over 2 minutes the track gets into a slow doom death crawl. Pained and anguished vocals come in and the song, has a little of an ancient Asphyx flair to it. The double bass at the 4.25 section over the melodic guitars is nice and Viejo does a nice job with his drumming. There is some good rumbling heaviness and I enjoy the melody, it’s pretty catchy and then more atmosphere and melodic ambience to eventually close the album.

Where All Hope Fades is a solid melodic doom death metal album. No question the band has improved as musicians, but I do prefer their prior album, Revelations of the Ethereal to this, quite a bit more. Where All Hope Fades loses me throughout sections of the album. It could be the album adds a lot more atmosphere and melodic ambience to the songs and while I do like moments like this, for me, it’s a little too much. I wanted heavier sections, like their prior material and I found certain parts of the album just kind of there and not really grabbing hold of me and embedding in my brain. On the flippity flipside, there are some monstrous riffing and awesome parts, and definitely well-played. The cd comes with a nice booklet with lyrics and the album cover is a little meh for my liking. All in all, I was hoping for more, but Ataraxy still has released a decent album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
March 20th, 2018


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