The beauty about music is that there is always a band that pave new paths in styles that people generally assume, has no more avenues for innovation. Atrament from USA do just that with their debut ‘Eternal Downfall’ and the style they choose is d-beat punk. This is a type of music that is generally thought to be monotonous, owing to the consistency in rhythm. However, Atrament take it upon themselves to make d-beat sound fresh again and with their venomous combination of black metal and death metal riffs, the band makes the listener forget limitations posed by sub genres. Within a span of 30 odd minutes, Atrament pack more than enough riffs that compete with each other to be the most scathing.
The punk flavour and d-beat assault are the only real common threads connecting the tracks on this record. The riffs give each track its own identity and they manage to stand apart on the merit of the song writing. This is something that is easier said than done in this particular style. Tracks like ‘Dusk Abuse’, ‘Rotting Twilight’, ‘Hericide’ and ‘Wretched Apparition’ contain riffs that have the capability to continue haunting the listener long after the album stops playing.
For most part of the record, the riffs feel like they’re lifted straight out of a black thrash album and retrofitted into a crust punk model. The acidic rasps from the vocalists reinforces the blackened feel in the music. However, Atrament do tend to break into the death metal territory with riffs that are akin to the Swedish variation of the style. Regardless of what the riffs remind you off, the grimy atmosphere and the pummelling intensity are sure to get you hooked. The production on the record manages to impart a dirty feel to the album and it manages to make the music sound downright vile.
To some folks, the constant rhythm might feel hard to consume. But Atrament doesn’t care. The intent of the album seems to be one of malice. The music rarely slows down and the riffs seldom permit recess. ‘Eternal Downfall’ is one of those albums that constantly punish the listener, but in ways that it feels addictive. Listening to album feels like mainlining a deadly concoction of black / death metal and crust punk. Atrament blast out of the gates with all guns blazing and if this is the path they’re paving, count me a fan!