Throughout the band’s career, The Atlas Moth, has evolved and expanded its sound, never remaining stagnant and always throwing the listener a curveball. The results have continually been met with critical praise from writers, band members and fans alike. Coma Noir, their new album, is no exception.
Due out on February 9th, Coma Noirmarks a few firsts for the band; it’s the first release for LA indie metal, Prosthetic Records, it’s the first to feature Mike Miczek (Broken Hope) on drums and it’s the first time the band worked with an outside producer. On previous releases, the band’s guitarist/vocalist, Andrew Ragin handled production duties. This time around, longtime friend, Sanford Parker (Eyehategod, Voivod) stepped in to steer the ship. An outside voice, one that the band was comfortable with, was key to channeling all the different elements the band brings to the table and keeping everything cohesive and concise.
The result has fashioned The Atlas Moth’sfinest album to date. While 2014’s The Old Believer, saw the band gaze off into psychedelic realms throughout the album, Coma Noir is packed tightly with riffs and hooks. It’s the bands most rocking album by far, though it’s far from being a rock album.
The interplay between vocalists Stavros Giannopoulos and David Kush has always been one of the band’s most defining traits, resulting in at times, very uneasy listening. The juxtaposition of the two singers is prevalent as it’s always been. This time around, as heard in the track Actual Human Blood, it’s sandwiched between a marching order of an intro and riffs that Hetfield would be proud to call his own.
The trippy/psychedelic interlude in The Streets of Bombay, and the track, Smiling Knife, shows the band’s more experimental side hasn’t left, while the album’s closer, Chloroform, is a dense, bluesy, powerful number, rivaling anything their peers down South have done, of course, they inject their own flavor into it by bringing in friend and peer, Bruce Lamont (Yakuza, Corrections House) to lay down some saxophone wails to close it out.
Formed in 2007, the band came up during an outpouring of heavy Chicago bands. Their self-released EP, Pray For Tides, was thick with sludgy licks and was a welcome addition to the city’s burgeoning output. They released a full length in conjunction with on Candlelight Records, toured with Helmet and Crowbar and then signed to Profound Lore and released what many called 2011’s album of the year, An Ache of the Distance. The band promoted that record worldwide, playing with Gojira, Devin Townsend, Intronaut and many others before releasing the aforementioned The Old Believer. The roadwork put in for that release included dates with Between The Buried and Me, Scale The Summit, The Ocean and others.
The Coma Noir touring cycle kicks off with a headlining run with support coming from Royal Thunder and Mirrors of Psychic Warfare and will play all throughout North America. The band won’t slow down after that, with tours throughout the world being worked on. 2018 will be the year for The Atlas Moth. It’ll be looked back as the year when underground metal first took the chance and decided to rock. It’ll be the year of Coma Noir.