BY Kiel HumePublished May 16, 2012

As a counter/sub-culture, goth has suffered in recent years. Somewhere along the way, goth fused with the worst kind of Euro trance culture, anime nerd-dom and Victorian-era fetishism. The result has been the laughable and historically inept cybergoth and steampunk sub-cultures, neither of which offered very good music. Those of us who remember (and maybe even lived!) goth's glory days will recall Bauhaus, David Bowie as a vampire and the super-sexy, brooding culture that was high goth. Alaric and Atriarch's new split EP is goth in the old-school sense, the kind where everything is existentialism, self-harm and a sublime obsession with darkness. Alaric contribute three stunning tracks to the release. The band's sound harkens back to the synth-y, distorted post-punk goth rock that would have been familiar in the '80s. There are hints of Killing Joke, but also nuances suggesting Joy Division and even Interpol (a band more goth than most want to admit). The band own this sound though and could easily lead goth back to respectable, and maybe even mainstream, glory. Atriarch's two tracks are more menacing and heavier than Alaric's contribution; these songs are still goth-inspired, but there's more of a metal edge to them, with a blackened, up-tempo sound. "Oblivion" retains the throwback atmosphere from the EP's earlier tracks, but moves from introverted reflection to a larger, more extroverted evil sound. "Offerings" approaches post-black metal, a fitting end to an EP that revives goth's stalled trajectory.
(20 Buck Spin)

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