Ataraxia - Deep Blue Firmanent
Sleaszy Rider Records
Darkwave Gothic Ambient
11 songs ()
Release year: 2016
Sleaszy Rider Records
Reviewed by Alex

I have told myself a few weeks ago when I was on a major downer mood and kept listening to darkwave non-metal albums non-stop that Ataraxia Deep Blue Firmanent would be last in the line of those. After all, this Italian band has apparently been in existence for 15 years, and if you are plying your craft for that long, things are bound to become professional, and therefore worth checking out.

Ataraxia certainly have a lot of appreciation for classical, New Age and gothic music, all combined in a smooth sounding package, with polished lush production. There are compositions when dark synth, cello and violin dovetail with a female vocalist (Alexandria, Message to the Clouds, Phoebe), creating beautiful chamber gothic compositions in line with other bands of which I will reference only those beginning with A there are so many of them (Aesma Daeva, Abyssos, Angizia, Autumn Tears). There is a lot of this darkwave gothic streak in Deep Blue Firmament, but to Ataraxia credit they are trying for several different elements in this style, like choral hosannas in Vertical, or epic martial direction of Myrrh, until madrigals again take over.

There is, however, often a different feel for the album. Song titles perhaps responsible, but Deep Blue Firmament at times feels standoffish and cold, even if it has a folky motif (Galatia). In those moments Ataraxia takes on the angle of walking through a garden filled with marble statues somewhere on the banks of Adriatic or in the Greek Mediterranean countryside, waves lapping the ground softly but aimlessly (Galatia, Ubiquity).

My favorite moments of Deep Blue Firmament then came when Ataraxia abandoned this impartial stand and invested themselves deeper emotionally. May grows into a full bodied composition with fantastic melodic hooks. Rosso Sangue begins in a gothic chamber, but then combines everything that is so good about it, including melody, and reminds us why Italian language is probably the most suitable for songwriting. Most importantly, however, May and Rosso Sangue are heartfelt, earnest, caressing and touching, appeal and prayer all in one, on a higher emotional level than some other compositions on Deep Blue Firmament.

A very respectable album, especially if you are a fan of this music, Ataraxia shows why they displayed longevity, and deservedly so.

Killing Songs :
May, Rosso Sangue
Alex quoted 81 / 100
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