End Of Mirrors is the new full-length from Oakland-based dark punk collective Alaric. Globally released on May 6th, 2016, the record is available on CD, vinyl and digitally via Neurot Recordings and on cassette via Sentient Ruin Laboratories.
Claustrophobic, gloomy, and epically grandiose, we find the four members of Alaric coming together at the height of their powers. As with their previous offerings, End Of Mirrors was recorded and mixed by Skot Brown at his Kempton House Studios. Brown’s contributions have been crucial to realising the vision of the band and expanding upon it to manifest a soundscape that can be dark, creepy, and complex while giving the songs a chance to breathe and shine with extraordinary clarity. Shane Baker’s lyrics are personal yet universal in scope, reflecting hard times in a fallen world at a moment of monumental change in the lives of the band members.
Each track and movement provides an emotional and deeply physical journey through inky, blackened sonic murk, devoid of all hope. Jason Willer pummels the drums, driving the band forward with power and finesse and then dropping down into a roiling boil of tribal toms. Bassist Rick Jacobus deals in woozy but solid lines that often carry the melody while filling out the sonic space with riding drone notes. Russ Kent’s guitar playing creates scintillating, cascading moments of beauty – what he calls “sheets of electric rain” – that open into crushing and aggressive distortion. It all comes together and twines around the atmospheric explorations of newly enlisted sound artist and experimental electronic musician Thomas Dimuzio who utilizes a Buchla Polyphonic radio tuner, modular analogue synthesizers, and other non-traditional methods to create his art. Make no mistake, this is not passive listening. These songs are instant classics for a new dark age.
END OF MIRRORS TRACK LISTING:
5. Shrinking World
6. End Of Mirrors
Alaric — featuring within its ranks current and former members of Dead And Gone, Pins Of Light, Noothgrush, Hedersleben and UK Subs — began their voyage in 2008 with an eye toward creating moody and compelling music unlike any other. Beginning with influences from such progenitors as Killing Joke and Christian Death to the darkest, heaviest punk bands and the most epic psychedelia, the band has dedicated itself to creating a singularly shadowy electric guitar-driven music. Proclaimed Zero Tolerance Magazine of their self-titled debut, “Morbid, threatening, and obsidian… Album of the Year by a long shot.” In a review of the band’s split with Atriarch, Cvlt Nation wrote, “…one experiences an immersion in watery black textures as if drawn welcomingly into a drowning, slowly swirling, abyss.”
Alaric’s previous releases include their debut single Animal/Shadow Of Life (FYBS/ Buried In Hell Records, 2010) and the aforementioned, self-titled LP (20 Buck Spin, 2011) and split 12” LP, with Atriarch (20 Buck Spin, 2012). Alaric, who recently opened for Neurosis on one of their three special thirtieth anniversary shows in San Francisco earlier this month, completed a full European tour with Cross Stitched Eyes (Alternative Tentacles Records/ Skuld Releases), last Autumn.
For various End Of Mirrors preorder bundles head to the Neurot webstore
“if you are looking for something that is dark, aggressive, and more left-of-center than your typical metal band these days, then this is worth your time…Aggression is a key component of their sound; even in the album’s more passive moments, it’s still bubbling under the surface like a serial killer staring at himself in the mirror.”
– NO CLEAN SINGING
“End Of Mirrors is a study in all that is great about nearly three decades of largely British driven rock. The darkness, despair and questioning of existence aside, the music is damn catchy and hummable. Simply put, End Of Mirrors is 2016’s version of Gold’s No Image — an album that doesn’t fit squarely within the metal genre yet will factor largely in the community’s conversation for years to come.” – NINE CIRCLES
“…a deathrock opera that brilliantly sews together the dusky emotivity of Bauhaus and Christian Death, the punishing and bleak atmospheres of Killing Joke and of the heaviest punk bands, and the desolate and hopeless atmospheres of the most crippling doom,” – CVLT NATION
“As a whole, it’s a dark, almost apocalyptic sweep of sound. Sitting alongside the recent releases by Se Delan and Madame Mayflower, 2016 is starting to look like the year goth is reborn. Forget darkwave and all that cal: emerging from a protracted period of social and economic turmoil, uncertainty, unrest, fear, and an all-pervading sense of existential trauma, we’re back in the late ‘70s and early 80s, and this is the real deal.” – AURAL AGGRAVATION
“as heavy sonically as it is aggressive…While this band might have come into my consciousness when the death rock revival rolled into the inner webs, a song like ‘Angel’ makes it clear that to dismiss this band as death rock is dramatically over simplifying it even at the most morose. The ghostly quality to this song doesn’t make you feel like you are sharing needles in West Hollywood on Halloween night. It is more expansive in the way it haunts you. It’s going to take a few more listens before this slow working drug is fully in my system, but it lives up to the legacy they began…” – ABYSSMAL HYMNS
“Though definitely doomed in their own unique way, Alaric is a post-punk band at their core, but End Of Mirrors is no Mesh & Lace goth club party anthem. Maintaining a sluggish tribal beat for the majority, ‘Mirrors’ reaches the lowest levels of despondency – psychedelic, woozy, and cold – before reaching a rabid and aggressive conclusion. …Though I had previously asserted that Alaric had achieved their peak with their contribution to their 2012 split with fellow gloomers Atriarch, ‘Mirrors’ sets the bar higher. Alaric is night music for aging punks – the sound of the last call at an emptied, dimly lit bar slowly purging its last denizens. To quote a song from a previous Alaric release, ‘the sadness goes on,’ and it certainly does.” – INVISIBLE ORANGES