Claustrophobic, gloomy, and epically grandiose, with their new album End of Mirrors 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 realizing 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 (also in Pins of Light) are deeply 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 (also in Cross-Stitched Eyes) 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 (also the legendary spine-bender in Noothgrush) 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 analog 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.
Alaric (who feature members of stalwart Bay Area long running acts like Noothgrush, Cross-Stitched Eyes, and Pins of Light) began their voyage in 2008 with an eye toward creating moody and compelling music unlike any other, that would seamlessly sew together a daunting sonic arabesque made of desolate and heart-splitting deathrock, gloomy and drooping post-punk, and a tension and hopelessness akin only to certain moods found in the most disinheriting doom metal aesthetics. 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).
In streaming the track Angel CVLT Nation has labeled End of Mirrors as "a magnificent aural monolith to gloom" and "and amazing deathrock masteripiece", while No Clean Singing in streaming the title track defined the album "expansive in the way that it haunts you."
Bearing beautiful artwork by Kevin Gan Yuen, End of Mirrors will be releaed on May 6 with the cassette tape version coming from Sentient Ruin (pre-orders here), while the LP, CD, and digital versions will arrive through none other than the mighty Neurot Recordings.