The Atlas Moth - Pray for Tides (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Atlas Moth

Pray for Tides (2008)

Witch Trial

Lord knows I'm a sucker for anything heavy with a groove. And few bands really are able to show something truly full formed with their debut EP. But shit, the Atlas Moth got it right. Pray for Tides is just under 19 minutes, but each is well-written, performed and recorded.

The songs are based around chaotic, sludgy riffs with layers of strangely melodic guitar parts and soaring lead riffs; the vocals switch from black metal screeching to harmonic chants. The band strays from cliché, leaving harmonic pinches and dueling guitarmony leads to only the necessary parts of the songs, and usually playing background to the wall of sound created by the bass and three guitars.

The production is near flawless, allowing the full sound of the band to come through. Their sound, like the moth they named themselves after, is truly massive. They borrow from the same heavy metal influences that have propelled bands like the Sword and Mastodon into the mainstream, but while those bands strive to hit something hard and loud, the Atlas Moth are in pursuit of something more akin to a Pink Floyd album -- swirling colors of psychedelic guitars and atmospheric noise created by the sheer quantity of music create something akin to an impressionist painting.

It's a supremely impressive first effort, and leaves me wanting more. Just imagining what this band could be capable of given a studio budget and an album's worth of material gives me shivers.