Atriarch, Occult Secret Service live at Chop Suey 11.07.2014
Text and Photos: Robert Hanna
Opening the show were Seattle’s OCCULT SECRET SERVICE, a five-piece metallic d-beat powerhouse fronted by illustrator and arch-screamer Adam Vick. While rooted in Scandinavian d-beat crust (think Lycantrhopunk-era Wolfpack (Wolfbrigade)), OSS has a strong death metal influence, exemplified by deceptively complex songwriting and leads. A very engaging and energetic live band, OSS channels such a raw mystique that you are at times unsettled by while having your face rocked off repeatedly.
Launching their West Coast tour in support of their new LP An Unending Pathway, Portland’s ATRIARCH descended upon Chop Suey in a fog of burning sage and dim blue light. Their shows are steeped in ritual, sonically blurring the line between doom metal and deathrock, the ethereal and supernatural. Picking up where their 2012 split with Oakland’s ALARIC left off, Atriarch’s new material delves much deeper into a darkwave/post-punk ambiance than their earlier, more sludge and doom-tinged releases. Vocalist Lenny Smith, in between declaratory chanting and whispered rasping, intimates at times a mix of Rozz Williams highs and Peter Murphy lows in his tortured stanzas.