AtaxicCrux is a band from Edmonton, Alberta that recently released their first album entitled Splinter. I previously reviewed their EP and this album goes further down the wormhole of cosmic, disparate sounds.
Let’s just get into it. The band starts with “Splintered (Intro)” which is a pretty good indicator of their sound. It’s a mix of distortion, synths, effects, dissonance and more. The actual drum beat is a very standard 4/4 beat but everything else really blends into this inventive soundscape.
“Forgotten Door” is the first song with vocals. There is a mix of serious spoken word and just a lot of things happening. There are musical similarities to bands like Nine Inch Nails, Evanescent as well as Zola Jesus.
The band continues with “Paranoid.” I couldn’t help but think of Goth Kids when listening to lyrics here which are very dramatic and emo. The music is literally bursting at the seams. There are interesting moments in this song that reminded me of Fuck Buttons.
The lead singer sounded her best on “The Cold Darkness” partially just because their use of effects like reverb and EQ were better implemented here. The beat is a throbbing ball of energy not unlike you sometimes hear from Crystal Castles.
The band is at their most catchy on “Hostage.” It made me realize the singer has a good voice when she utilizes it. She shows a lot of dramatic spoke poetry but she really sounds good when goes high and finds a melody. I hope to hear more of that.
Another highlight is “Midnight Sun” which combines dissonance with accessible melodies. The band just does it the right way blending these things in a way I found very attractive. “Divine Flame” is a pretty wicked track as well with a driving industrial beat while the closer “Broken Glass” is a seven-plus-minute song that continues to push boundaries.
I absolutely love that this band is wanting to try to do something original. They are creating this sort of seriousness that bands like NIN, Evanescence and Tool have with some of their own tones and textures. This is a good first effort from the band and evidence that have been evolving.
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