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An Ache for the Distance

The Atlas Moth

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Album Review

Evolving their sound from the blues-touched doom of their debut into a swirling, psychedelic miasma, the Atlas Moth take a maximalist approach to atmospheric metal on their sophomore album, An Ache for the Distance. Reaching into every corner of the musical world for inspiration, the album feels as if it's sitting at some kind of sonic crossroad, acting as the focal point where the endless nomenclature of the heavy metal world crosses paths with spacy art rock and blues. But just as throwing a bunch of random garbage from your kitchen into a pot doesn't necessarily make for a good meal, the same goes for music, and when you start mixing a lot of extremes together, the chances of a harmonic maelstrom become more and more likely. What makes the Atlas Moth so successful isn't their ability to draw an all-encompassing pool of influences into their sound, but their ability to get those elements to coalesce into something greater than the sum if its parts, and that's exactly what the band has done on An Ache for the Distance. From the very opening moments of "Coffin Varnish," the album immediately surges forth into a frenzied dirge that takes full advantage of the band's three-guitar attack. Surprisingly, this momentum is maintained throughout the album, giving it an incredible amount of movement for something so atmospheric. As the album progresses, tracks like "Holes in the Desert" and "25s & the Royal Blues" make the Atlas Moth feel like Pecos Bill, lassoing a tornado of guitar and keyboards into an expansive, intense sound that manages to surround listeners without smothering them. With a real combination of thoughtful craftsmanship and genuine movement, An Ache for the Distance is an album that doesn't just instantly engage the listener, but also stands up to repeated visits, making for one of the more intense and rewarding post-metal albums to emerge out of the post-Isis landscape.

Customer Reviews

This band is a new discovery for me...

... And they're pretty good.

It's "Metal", but if I had to get really descriptive I'd say it's kind of a sludgy, doomy, kind of metal... mixed with some pretty good vocal harmonies that include clean vocal singing (a rough clean singing voice, kind of like .. Eyes of Fire or Neurosis?) -- and a raspy black metal screaming, kind of like Wolves in the Throne Room.

The music itself is slower paced, there are no blast beats or anything like that. It's a very "cerebral" type of listen.. kind of puts you in a trance. Again I'd draw paralells with WITTR, Agalloch, etc... they don't sound the same, but they all kind of provide that same style of listening experience to me... putting me in a trance.

I took a risk buying this after only hearing a few samples, and had never heard of this band before, but I'm quite satisfied.


ok guys,along with machinehead,mastodon,these guys can put up a fight for cd of the year!!! listen to this worth every penny and more buy it and like it!!! the wolf n.y !!!

Excellent Album

I saw these guys live on their tour with Batillus and what a show it was. Psychedelic colors and music that keeps you focused. It's a great deal better than their debut album. This will be without a doubt on my end of the year list.


Formed: Gotham, Illinois

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Fusing blues, doom, and psychedelic rock, the Atlas Moth look to their hometown of Chicago, Illinois for inspiration in their post-metal experiments. With layers of rumbling guitars and synthesizers, the band takes a more textural approach to metal, creating a maelstrom of heavy riffs and swirling atmospherics that evokes Isis and Pink Floyd in equal measure. The band made its full-length debut on Candlelight...
Full Bio
An Ache for the Distance, The Atlas Moth
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Customer Ratings