The Atlas Moth has never been a band to play the same cards twice. Over its last two albums, 2012’s An Ache for the Distance and 2014’s The Old Believer, the Chicago five-piece has seemed bent on transforming itself from its early days of doom and sludge into an outfit focused on pushing the outer limits of atmospheric, psychedelic, and contemplative styles of metal. But like many of the best music groups, just when you think you’ve got them pegged, they go ahead and flip the script again, and then some.
On its upcoming album, Coma Noir (out February 9 on Prosthetic Records—preorders are live now), the Atlas Moth takes its darkest and most brutal turns yet. Recorded by Sanford Parker and featuring new drummer Mike Miczek (Broken Hope), the band plunges down from the warm, heady realms of its previous release and into icy, cavernous soundscapes. There’s still plenty of beauty below the surface, including cinematic, instrumental interludes and co-lead singer/guitar David Kush’s smooth, robust vocals, but this time around the scales are tipped in favor of jarring, metallic riffs, industrial-leaning beats, creeping sound effects, and scorching, paint-peeling vocals from co-lead singer/guitarist Stavros Giannopoulos.
Directed by Ryan Oliver, the video for the album’s first single and title track takes cues from the bleak film genre that inspired its name—and even has Golden Age Hollywood-style opening credits to match. Shot in stark black and white, the video finds the Atlas Moth performing in a dingy back corner of an industrial space that could easily be imagined as the setting where a mysterious crime occurred decades before. Flanked by chains, brick, and urban grime, the band is backlit by explosive animation that grows to envelop them in strobing effects by the songs’ brutal end.
“This is our third video collaboration with our close personal friend and co-conspirator, director Ryan Oliver,” Stavros says. “Ryan has been instrumental in presenting the ideas in my head visually and expanding on them further than the stretches of my own imagination. Our first performance video was in great hands with him at the helm.”
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