Local metal unit the Atlas Moth have a glorious return to form on Coma Noir | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Local metal unit the Atlas Moth have a glorious return to form on Coma Noir

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On the Atlas Moth’s brand-new Coma Noir, their fourth full-length and first for LA-based Prosthetic Records, the local heavy-metal monsters turn the focus back toward the earth-shaking sludge that defined their early work. In fact, they haven’t sounded this raw and gnarly since they self-released their debut seven-inch a decade ago. With their last record, 2014’s The Old Believer, they ran their tried-and-true stoner metal through the psychedelic ringer, padding songs with spacey synths and soundscapes and almost diluting their impact with ambience and stargazing. Coma Noir is an entirely different beast. The band have dropped down from the cosmos and instead are planting their feet firmly on the ground and looking inward for inspiration. The resulting riffs are focused and brutal, the energy is dark as hell, and the songs are streamlined and concentrated. Coma Noir reaches its summit on its glorious closing track, a groovy, swampy cut propelled by new drummer Mike Miczek’s behind-the-beat throb and topped off with the band’s signature shriek-chant vocal trade-offs, triple-guitar attack, and Bruce Lamont’s saxophone dissonance (an unofficial requirement for any Chicago metal release). A pummeling, no-bullshit, welcome return to form for one of Chicago’s heaviest acts, Coma Noir is a total blast from start to finish.   v

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