Despair, Erosion, Loss
Alerta Antifascista/Moment of Collapse
I first cottoned onto Ottawa’s atmospheric power-trio Alaskan through the vast realms of the blogosphere a couple of years back, and at the time they’d just released a split with Co-Pilot. That was their last recorded output until now, where they return here with ‘Despair, Erosion, Loss’, a six-track LP which is brutally heavy and dark in all aspects.The first track, ‘Sacrifice’, discusses the tragedy of Amina Filali, a teenager who killed aged 16 when her rapist was allowed via a law allowing the “kidnapping” of a minor to marry them to escape jail, basically, swallowing rat poison after being severely beaten during the forced marriage, and then being dragged through the streets when discovered by her arranged husband. ‘Fiend’ on the other hand deals with the horrific murder of Tinde Nemet by her husband Mihalj after their daughter Teodora filed charges against her father for assault, who then told her after killing Tinde ‘this is what you wanted, you did this, I hope you’re happy’. I hadn’t come across either of these cases before, and to read the detail on them – available above the lyrics for both respective songs – is, however exposed you are to such graphical detail, still quite disconcerting, and Alaskan have put together a series of six tracks here than don’t shy away from that. Sure, vocalists Cory and Gary bellow with real titanic intensity, but musically it feels dark all the way through, with the addition of strings bringing a new dynamic to Alaskan’s sound, really tearing their way into you as they compliment the mood of the music, particularly on the closer ‘Eternal’, which builds like a tidal wave towards its awesome finale.
‘Despair, Erosion, Loss’ is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s bleak, it’s crushing, its sorrowful, and quite simply, it’s Alaskan’s best album yet, showing further development in their sound without losing any of their groove or ferocity.
This album is available now via the band’s Bandcamp page on a name-your-price scheme. The vinyl is not released until Friday February 28th, but you can preorder using the links below.
Buy/download ‘Despair, Erosion, Loss’ here (name-your-price)
Stream it below: