Monday 19 June 2017

Atragon - I, Necromancer (Album Review)

Release date: June 09th 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

I, Necromancer – Tracklisting

1.Matriarch 07:49
2.Monastery of Silence 05:15
3.I, Necromancer 06:34
4.Wallowing Wizard 06:55
5.The Dead Weight of Unimportant Flesh 06:06
6.Jesus Wept 13:49
7.Guilt Returns 05:19

Band Members:

Vocals - Jan Gardner
Guitar - Ruaridh Daunton
Drums - Jason Watt
Bass - Ewen Cameron


Atragon were born in the cold, harsh winter of 2012 and they worship the altar of slow fuzzed out doom metal. They're living and breathing in the vaulted tombs of Edinburgh, Scotland.

I, Necromancer is the follow up to the Witch Hunter Records release Volume 1.

They have played a lot as supporting acts to much bigger bands and it makes sense as the bass player runs a promotions company and bringing all the bands to Edinburgh. They have despite their age as a band completed a UK tour and I have read good things about their live-performance.

When I was listening to the record for the first time I felt some mixed emotions about it. The first couple of spins has the evil, churning riffs I like but unfortunately the vocals were a little bit out of tune. And it felt like the weak point in the wall of meaty and greasy riffs. Things get a lot better during the record though and sometimes the vocals are top notch. 

If you want to describe the bands sound I think they owe a nod to at a lot of different styles and even if its heavy blues, doom, prog or psych I think the music is tasting and sounding good. I like the variety of styles they shift between songs and its never boring to listen to. I hear strong Electric Wizard vibes and a couple of catchy Cathedral riffs and its when they hit the catchy notes is where the band impress me the most.

I think the record as a whole is very strong but there are a couple of songs that are worthy to mention. 

“I, Necromancer” adds some funny intros and extended instrumentals into the mix and I appreciate the less experimentation in the song because it allows their thick guitar tones to remain in the forefront. 

”The Dead Weight of Unimportant Flesh” is the best song in my opinion. The picking on the guitar in the beginning, the absolute gorgeous main riff and the vocal duties are impressive to hear. The tempo changing during the song is effective and put an extra dimension to a brilliant tune. The way good music is supposed to sound.

The ending track “Guilt Returns“, Hm! Wondering is this tune worth ending the record and not placed in the middle of the record. Thematically it fits though and sonically it expands the way stoner doom often sounds but I would preferred it after I,Necromancer to let the listener breath before heading through the thick sound wall during the rest of the record. 

To summarize. They've got the ingredients to be a killer stoner band , and in some way they're already there. Great hooks. Mammoth riffs and bad ass songs. I'm looking forward to hearing more.

Words by Svempa Alveving