Saturday 20 January 2018

The Atlas Moth - Coma Noir (Album Review)

Release date: 9th February 2018. Label: Prosthetic Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Coma Noir – Tracklisting

1.Coma Noir 04:41
2.Last Transmission From The Late, Great Planet Earth
3.Galactic Brain 05:50
4.The Streets of Bombay
5.Actual Human Blood
6.Smiling Knife
7.Furious Gold
8.The Frozen Crown


Andrew - Synth/guitar
Alex - Bass
Mike - Drums
David - Guitar/Vocals
Stavros - Guitar/Vocal


Greetings All,

This February sees the release of one of the heaviest records I have heard in quite a while.

Chicago’s Atlas Moth release their monstrous fourth album, Coma Noir on the awesome Prosthetic Records label. With Coma Noir, the band have unleashed 9 crushing tracks of dark, focused, blackened metal. The cover art and title are a nod to one of my personal favorite types of literature. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the novels of Dashiell Hammett. The music on Coma Noir is dark and brooding, basically a black metal version of a 1940’s/50’s crime novel.

The band brings a more focused black metal sound on this record and they infuse that sound with elements of industrial, noise rock and a touch of psychedelia that has been prevalent in the bands earlier work. The band perfectly captures the overall theme and vibe that I believe they are aiming for with Coma Noir.

Each of the 9 songs presented presents multiple facets of the bands personality. The guitars are loud and hard. The drumming is sensational. This aspect alone sets them apart from the typical black metal drum machine hang up. Synths and bits of odd instrumentation are found throughout. But it is the vocals that are unique. Almost every song has the perfect mixture of anguished screaming vocals along with straight forward singing that keeps each song fresh and intriguing. The songs never fall into the monotonous trap that the majority of black metal (or metal in general) falls victim to.

The kicks off immediately with massive riffage of the title track, Coma Noir. The song from beginning to end perfectly encapsulates the tone and style of the record. Heavy, fuzzed out, almost industrial style guitar works with massive drumming and anguished vocals. Dammit, if there isn’t a bit of an homage at the end of the song to Metallica’s One with some double kick drum/riffing.

Last Transmission from the Late, Great Planet Earth comes at you next with its driving rhythms and buried sounds carrying the less than optimistic lyrics to a killer synth outro. One of the absolute stand out tracks is Galactic Brain. This song slows a bit from the break neck pace of the openers with a more stomping, Neurosis style rock sound. It opens with more straight forward vocals and a killer riff. The Streets of Bombay opens with a low rumble and synth based intro before absolutely exploding with face melting riffage. Actual Human Blood follows with continued heaviness highlighted by crashing cymbals and an industrial style beat.

Smiling Knife shows a very metal sound and is a bit of a two headed vocal monster featuring the screamed part and sung part. Another absolutely amazing track is Furious Gold which much like the title track features all the aspects that make this a truly amazing record. The song carries a very heavy groove and brings in blasts of industrial noise and fuzz along with some awesomely powerful vocals throughout.

The Frozen Crown is a straight forward synth heavy rocker. The closer is Chloroform, which starts out with some marching style drums and leads the plodding sound of this psych heavy track. The song is loaded with distortion, swirling synths and some spazzed out horns. The song provides a surreal, trippy, psyched out ending to the dark, murderous story the Atlas Moth has laid out for your listening pleasure.

If you like your metal dark and diverse, you should do yourself a favor and give Coma Noir some listening time. Atlas Moth have handed you one of the best and heaviest records to start 2018. Dig on it!

-Todd S

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey

Thanks to Becky at Pioneer Music Press for the promo. Coma Noir will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Prosthetic Records from 09th February 2018.