30 July, 2012

Evoken: Atra Mors – new album


Considered one of forefathers of America's death/funeral/doom metal movement, EVOKEN are about to release their fifth full-length ‘Atra Mors’ tomorrow, July 31st, 2012 on Profound Lore Records. Recorded at Sound Spa studios in Edison, New Jersey, with artwork and layout provided by Robert Hoyem, ‘Atra Mors’ (from Latin: black death) marks the official 100th release for Profound Lore Records:

“ ‘Atra Mors’ sees EVOKEN comprise their most ambitious album to date. While still upholding the utterly colossal, apocalyptic, and extraordinary heaviness the band have become synonymous for, ‘Atra Mors’ sees EVOKEN embrace new ground by experimenting a bit more with the use of ambience and atmosphere, deploying a stronger sense of melody (and moments of tranquility) during some of the album’s discourse along with delivering moments that harken back to the ancient days of pure old-school death metal,” [proudly announces the label:]

EVOKEN: An Extrinsic Divide – courtesy of Profound Lore Records

Visit Pitchfork here to hear ‘Descent Into Chaotic Dream’, another track off the recording, and buy ‘Atra Mors’ here (Profound Lore).

Formed in 1992 by guitarist Nick Orlando in Lyndhurst, New Jersey and at the beginning known as “Funereus”, EVOKEN suffered through much lineup changes during their first years; they have released a ‘Shades Of Night Descending’ demo in 1994, which was re-released by Adipocere Records in 1996. ‘Embrace The Emptiness’, EVOKEN debut long-player, featured guitarist and vocalist John Paradiso, guitarist Nick Orlando, bassist Steve Moran, drummer Vince Verkay, keyboardist Dario Derna, and session cellist Charles Lamb:

“… in addition to slumbering tempos underpinned by reverberating drums, evanescent synth orchestrations haunting thundering guitars, and booming growls hurled straight from the deepest, foulest crypt, album standouts like ‘Tragedy Eternal’, ‘Chime The Centuries End’ and ‘Ascend Into The Maelstrom’ also boasted a few rather “energetic” passages and tormented clean baritones mixed in by frontman John Paradiso,” [commented Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here]


EVOKEN: Embrace The Emptiness


Listen to the record in its colossal re-issued entirety here (BandCamp) or above, courtesy Solitude Productions. ‘Embrace The Emptiness’ was released by Elegy Records in 1998. The group went on to record their second album, ‘Quietus’, which “found the group taking measures to tidy up the frayed edges of earlier productions, somewhat, in order to come up with more focused and condensed funeral doom sludge”, according to Mr. Rivadavia (more here). ‘Quietus’ was released through Avantgarde Music in 2001. As the band was preparing to record their next album, they found themselves a bassist short hence ‘Antithesis Of Light’ was recorded “under somewhat chaotic conditions” – in their own words – with John Paradiso adding bass guitar to his vocal and guitar duties; ‘Antithesis Of Light’ was issued in 2005. In 2006, bassist Craig Pillard joined up, as EVOKEN parted ways with keyboardist Denny Hahn, and in 2007, they signed with Swedish label I Hate Records, through which they issued their next full-length, ‘A Caress Of The Void’, that same year. The album featured new keyboardist Don Zaros:

“… the difference between good and great often lies in the contrasting musical accouterments that the funeral doom purveyors in question so miserly ration throughout, and it’s through these nuances that EVOKEN's veteran experience and songwriting maturity still stand out, transforming and transcending the “extreme for extremity's sake” ethos plied by most rookie competitors into truly memorable songs, capable of eliciting more complex emotions beyond utter, hopeless nihilism (not that there's any lack of that here),” [complimented Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here]

EVOKEN features: John Paradiso – guitar and vocals, Chris Molinari – guitar, Nick Orlando – guitar, Dave Wagner – bass, Don Zaros – keyboards and Vince Verkay - drums

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