Top 5: Evoken
National Music Reviews
Evoken = Esoteric + Mournful Congregation + Disembowelment
“I will diminish those centuries and persecute those with quiet desperation,” bleeds a grumbled death roar from the title track off Evoken’s fifth album. Not only do the gloomy lyrics set the tone of the album with the starting song, but the music does as well. The record may be enjoyed as a sonic deviance or as a physical sedative. Atra Mors’ biggest success as an album is its gutsy equality of atmospheric, obliterating doom and brain-stem-carving memorability. You will grasp onto every gloomy, punishing note and crushing guitar, coupled with a ridiculously loud drum sound—which helps drive home that blissfully painful effect. The songs on Atra Mors have that gut-check feel, as “Grim Eloquence” displays, and also have little noise deviations and palpitations that latch like leeches to flesh with catchy riff creations and melodic elements that crawl into the nooks of your mind like bad memories. Listeners not fond of the genre may denounce the idea of purposely listening to the blight and grand depression of this band. The notion that the artists who comprise Evoken truly and undoubtedly feel this sense of pain makes for a good counter-argument against such reluctance. Not everyone wants to inflict self-harm, but there are those moments when you let the dark in. Feel the crumbling of the world—Evoken allow you an outlet to meander through the dark rivers and abysmal cracks of what we call home. The hope-crushing effect that Evoken easily push—without asking—onto listeners isn’t just for a rainy day. Live in harmony with the darkness, and you will better understand the light.