Published Jun 10, 2014Chicago gravediggers the Atlas Moth struck gold with their sophomore effort, An Ache For The Distance, a compositionally vast and emotionally gripping effort that fused sludge-influenced heaviness with eerily glittering, post-rock subtlety. Three years later, The Old Believer explores a lot of the same musical territory as its predecessor, pulling in many of the same structural and songwriting strategies, but the feeling of the record — the tone and the emotional content — exists is a completely different register.
There is a profound exhaustion here, and the writing comes from a place of being utterly spent and still attempting to squeeze out more blood, more sound. The record is clearly the product of a time of great anguish and change; band members suffered death, complex surgery and other forms of loss, and this devastation is palpable, especially in the wrenching "The Sea Beyond." The Old Believer is a brave, sometimes shambling attempt to transmute great pain into beauty, and while it is not always successful, the sheer effort and raw authenticity is alone worthwhile. (Profound Lore)