Chilean black metal band Ater will release their second full-length album, Somber, this Friday (19th). The group’s blackened sound can be heard from the beginning with the opening track, “Striges.” With a subtle transition, the song opens with a traditional format, with the guitar strumming followed by the drums’ powerful blast beat. However, the album increases in power as it progresses in its execution. The atmospheric background sounds help transition the style towards a sinister and trapping tone, enhancing the darkened beats and a deep, growling voice. Ted Jensen mastered the record at Sterling Sound and reflects the line he usually works: syncopated sounds, polyrhythmic percussion, and a mixture of black and death metal with progressive technical touches, giving a refined texture. The album reaches eight unique songs, navigating the instrumental arrangements with enhanced technical execution, adding overall value and quality. One of the interesting aspects is delivered by the song “Through The Portal” that, with 5:39 minutes, brings several different musical colors within it: a deep growl, a soft guitar strumming, a haunting atmosphere, and a powerful denouement giving a delight listen.

Ater, currently formed by its leader Fernando “Feroz” Bühring, Josh “Sol” Seguin, and Stephan “Kalani” Seguin, was embodied to create a new twist on their first studio album, Eternal Gray Spiral. This new record has a more obscure take, with technical improvements appreciated in each of the compositions. “Ignis Immortalis,” which has a video clip, features atmospheric passages with airs of desolation. These are accompanied in perfect harmony with the work of the strings and drums. A powerful and dark voice clears in the middle, transitioning to a soft and clean harmonic voice, almost operatic, generating a standout track. The compositional process of Feroz combines, in his words, sounds inspired by Meshuggah, which is noticed at a glance as the songs unfold. The game between the gloomy darkness of black metal and the syncopated and convoluted rhythms of progressive are extremely well achieved.

The guitar solo in the track “Shrine” transports a standard heavy metal track while wrapping in darkness and returning to desolate shadows. Moving further towards a darker sidewalk, “Sæculi Fine” begins with a strong but slow percussion and the doughy sound of the strings leading the raw atmosphere themed throughout the song. The ultra tomb growling becomes increasingly powerful. It generates the feeling of walking in the darkness while the melodic breaks give you a glimpse of light extinguished again in a penumbra worthy of the black metal we like to listen to. A distorted and intriguing sound introduces “Solitude,” a risky and surprising choice by Feroz since the atmospheric sound of darkness of this instrumental song ends the second full-length release. Ater leaves the tragic feeling of the sorrowful melodies that are being explored throughout the whole album. This new album is not just a listening experience; it’s a musical adventure. Feroz’s intriguing musical choices, such as the atmospheric instrumental track “Solitude,” add depth and variety to the album. The songs are filled with dark black metal, intertwining with other sounds to create something new and interesting to listen to. This album highlights Ater’s creativity and innovation in the black metal genre.

Ater’s Somber arrives on April 19th. Order the album here.