Ativin: Night Mute
'Nightmute', the current album from post-rockers Ativin, is best described as a noir-overdose. This “exploration of the themes of death, hopelessness and fear” has moments of inspired darkness, but they are often buried. Not that there is anything wrong with unrelenting misery and depression; Nick Cave and Morrissey have both made extremely successful careers out of it.
Between the insistent opening track ‘Night Terror’ and closer ‘Sleep Well’ it would be hard to point to a bad song, but somehow the complete package just doesn’t sit together well. The middle section especially suffers from the rather similar nature of the tracks. The musicianship is exemplary throughout and the bleakness is totally unaffected. It just gets a bit repetitive after a while.
This would make a great soundtrack for the kind of movie that David Cronenberg would make in the midst of drug induced paranoia. Unfortunately – like the movie probably would be – it is heavy going to make it all the way through in one sitting. Of course this album was never going to be easy going. While it does drag in places 'Nightmute' also rewards repeat listening. If you find the idea of an “exploration of the themes of death, hopelessness and fear” attractive then this could be right up your alley. You better just hope you don’t bump into Ativin there one dark, stormy night.