"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Alaric - "Alaric" (CD)

Alaric - "Alaric" CD cover image

"Alaric" track listing:

1. Eyes
2. Ugly Crowds
3. Your God
4. Alone
5. Tribute
6. Laughter Of The Crows
7. Animal
8. Shadow Of Life

Reviewed by on December 4, 2011

"The debut LP is like a hypnotic haze of sludgy death rock akin to watching a glacier move across the landscape slowly grinding and carving the earth...that is, if you have that kind of time."

Oakland based Alaric is a doleful post-punk band for fans of Killing Joke and Joy Division with just a brush of Warfare. The debut LP is like a hypnotic haze of sludgy death rock akin to watching a glacier move across the landscape slowly grinding and carving the earth...that is, if you have that kind of time.

The songs are a testament to the post-punk movement of the 80's when Christian Death puttered along with grumbling base lines and a deep dark melancholy that sucks any cheer from the listener and the immediate surrounding area, rendering the songs nearly indistinguishable from each other. Every attempt at melody is prodigalized by the distorted chords of derision.

That said, I did enjoy "Eyes" and its death chant chorus. The song represents the most structured of the lot, while the rest seem like remorseless repetition. The only other deviation from the slow systematic dysphoria comes in "Laughter of the Crows," which actually picks up in speed and intensity in the last couple of minutes. That intensity is carried forward a bit on first portion of "Animal."

I have never been a fan of the genre for its ability to induce sleep, slow decay, or suicide. Alaric pacified me into a daze, mouth gaping, drool dripping, paralyzed and emotionless watching the paint on my living room wall turn into even darker and more soulless colors. "As time goes by, my soul grows numb, pictures begin to fade. A page in a book, a drop of rain, like a message in a bottle in a sea of pain." I couldn't have summed it up any better.

Highs: Fans of post-punk and gothic death rock will eat this right up.

Lows: A style that makes even sadness appear cheery.

Bottom line: Alaric's debut release will teach you the true meaning of pain!

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)