Band – Aterrima
Album – A Name Engraved in Cold Soil
Country of Origin – USA
Genre – Progressive Death Metal
Release Date – December 8, 2023
Label – Fiadh Productions
Author – Hayduke X
Starting as a romping death metal track, but pretty quickly taking some strange turns, Lily of the Valley is an exemplar track for the album, if such a thing exists. Let’s play ‘what if…” What if Gorguts, Pale Communion Opeth, and Miles Davis all co-wrote a song together? Maybe it would sound like this. Maybe not, given the strange combination that would make, but there are some elements of each on this track. Check it out for yourself and suggest your own three-artist mix. Regardless, press play on this excellent track, then drop below the player for my full review.
A Name Engraved in Cold Soil is the debut full length for Aterrima, following two singles, The Hexagon, Fetid, and The Killing Light EP (on Mishap Records in 2022) and the House of Ash single (also Mishap Records, earlier this year). Two thirds of the Boise, Idaho trio are also in Weald and Woe, though there is a sharp departure in sound between the two. Instead, Aterrima remind me much more of Fiadh labelmates Hypomanic Daydream.
Formed in 2017, the trio features Isiah Fletcher on drums (Weald and Woe), who brings more to the task than simply providing a rock solid foundation. While his rhythmic prowess is certainly rock solid, he adds plenty of interesting fill choices and a jazziness to many of the songs. Ted Clements handles bass expertly, with romping bass lines that show the instrument as a feature, not simply a rhythm keeper in this project. He also contributes to the varied vocal attack, which ranges from cleans to raging growls and yells, though I’m not sure which vocalist handles which parts. On guitar is the other Weald and Woe alum, Brent Ruddy, who is also the other vocalist of record. His bizarre riffs join with, and sometimes combat, the bass work and drumming in a way that is often frenetic, but sticks with you like burrs after a walk through the underbrush.
According to the promotional material, Aterimma:
uses storytelling and extreme metal to explore the feelings of reverence and inspiration that nature can provide, as well as the bitter acceptance of bleak realities about the natural world.
The music does a good job of exploring these feelings, with some quite beautiful passages representing reverence and inspiration, and some chaotic, difficult passages that could mimic other parts of nature, as well as the terrible realities of man’s interactions with nature. The music is beautiful and terrible and brutal, sometimes all at once, sometimes at different times, just as is found in the natural world. The music is also sometimes fractured and damaged, expressing what late-stage capitalism, and man’s activities in general do to it.
A Name Engraved in Cold Soil is a challenging listen, as it should be given the themes. Aterrima have created something special, which many artists have done this year (and past years, of course), but also something fairly unique, which is much harder to do. Press play and let the album carry you away. Enjoy every jolt, reprieve, attack, and sharp turn.
Biography: Hayduke X has been writing for MoshPitNation since June of 2016. He is also a contributor to The Metal Wanderlust. Prior to joining the MoshPitNation team, Hayduke published reviews on his own blog Rage and Frustration. In addition, he has DJ’ed an online metal radio show of the same name as his blog, written for TOmetal.com, done interviews for Metal Rules, and collaborated with The Art of B Productions to create video interviews with a wide variety of bands.