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Ataraxie : Live Doomination

French doomsters Ataraxie are well known faces in the European doom underground, and will need little introduction for many. For others: Ataraxie play pure doom/death, no frills or extra touches, just guitar, bass, drums, and growls. This underground release (of which only a few dozen were made) was sold at concerts after the Doomination of Europe tour in 2003. It was recorded on February 9th, in the Camden Underworld of London.

The songs on this album (except for the last one, which I will talk about later on) are from the first release of the band and are brought with the conviction of a band who truly love what they're doing. For the most part this is very slow to mid-tempo doom/death, with a large role for the lead guitar. Now and then the band's influences (My Dying Bride and diSEMBOWELMENT in particular) shine through a bit too much for my liking, but in general this is very enjoyable music for those who dig this subgenre.

The last song is an exception to this, as it is a cover of the funeral doom classic by cult group Worship. This is a very slow and long song (almost half as fast as the original) which is driven by the soul-tearing lead melody. It is difficult for me to judge this one, as the original is one of my favourite songs in doom metal overall. Nevertheless, I feel that Ataraxie pull this cover off very well, although they didn't really add any touches of their own, except for the even slower tempo. The only thing that is slightly different is the long solo at the end of the song, and sadly, it is the part of the cover I like the least. It is now done by two guitars, instead of one, and it lacks the intensity of the original, which was heightened by the fact that it was only one guitar, and thus drew more attention to its one single melody. This is still a very, very good song, though.

Wrapping up, this release is nice, but only interesting to those who are really deep into doom/death, especially due to the somewhat mediocre sound quality. Fans of Worship might also be interested in hearing the band covered so quickly after the original was released. Sadly, this release is probably not available anywhere, except through second-hand or electronic channels.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Funeral Hymn
2. The Other Path
3. The Other Path pt II
4. The Isle Of The Dead
5. From Agony To Eternity
Bonus track:
6. Whispering Gloom

Duration : Approx. 50 minutes

Visit the Ataraxie bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Oscar Strik
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