Athabasca is a concept album about the ecological relationship between the Northern grey wolf (Canis lupis) and the American bison (Bison bison).
SPLIT THE GOLDEN HERD!
" I closed my eyes and did feel like I was wandering in the woods, a stunning experience. I can not praise it enough; this is a phenomenal work that required craftsmanship from an honest artist. Mur deserves much, much more attention and recognition because what the man behind it is creating is, to my humble ears, masterpieces."
10 out of 10
"As it begins with droning ambient sounds, it’s not hard to imagine soaring on thermals like a hawk over high plains filled with vast wooly herds. The sensation of drifting back in time is reinforced by the picking and strumming of acoustic guitar, the solitary melody conjuring a western folk vibe. The music is eventually filled with a storm of abrasive sound, with the swelling of distorted riffs, the rhythmic rumble of percussion, and the scarring howl and roar of predatory vocals — as if to convey that the wolf has arrived, and with it, death."
-No Clean Singing
"GREAT sounding mixture of atmospheric black metal, doom and drone. If you are a fan of those musical genres, you should check out this solo project. RECOMMENDED TRACK - Dragged Across The Forest God's Teeth. "
8 out of 10.
- Occult Black Metal Zine
"The ideal way to listen to this album is, I think, to lay on your back in a field of grass on a starry night, when you can forget about your sorrows and you can fully focus and the music and the sounds. It can be very minimal and slow, but it is never boring at all. A masterpiece of minimalism."
9 out of 10.
- Metal Temple
"Imagine the dreamy, nature-minded black metal of Wolves In The Throne Room… but with none of the black metal. Well, almost none of the black metal; the lo-fi aesthetic, intimidating song lengths, and the occasional raspy voice still betray Mur’s Cascadian influences. Listen to Athabasca if you dig blackgaze aesthetics and like the idea of pushing this nocturnal genre so close to the light that it begins to evaporate like a dewdrop in the sun, leaving behind only a ghost and the sweet scent of rain."
- Toilet Ov Hell
"Probably one of the few people I've ever heard to progressively transition between avant-garde acoustics to black metal (track three) and not make me cringe insanely at the poor crafting and outright pretentiousness of it. But the peaks and valleys in tone that appropriately make use of rich, sunny acoustics while somehow naturally becoming frantic, Cascadian-inspired black metal is pretty great in my opinion. Yet that's also likely because Athabasca keeps it minimal (another wildly underrated trait in not just black metal but music in general I would say) and doesn't get off track from its original conceptualization- I wholly recommend this one for any avant garde or Cascadian black metal fans."
- Fucked By Noise
"Wow. If you are going to tell an American story, you best have an american sound. Mur has that in spades, from a drone influence recalling Scenics' Aquatica (a very desolate southwestern drone sound, fitting for description of the great plains of the US), to banjo and acoustic guitar working together, to black metal sections that just sound like they were born between the Atlantic and the Pacific. Appalachia with Cascadia, none overwhelming the other. This is just top notch music here. Well done. Very well done."
- Black Metal Owns You
"The first track is almost a representation of peace, freedom, the slow pace that the life of a peaceful animal can take. But towards the end of the 12 minutes, and then into the second track, begins to emerge a concept anxious, decadent, which becomes brutal, violent. Deadly. Very cruel and savage. As nature itself."
8 out of 10.
"Athabasca is a boiling cauldron of fascinating ideas, and a harbinger for something phenomenal. Potent musicianship, nice dynamic, great structuring, atmosphere, and buildup, and intriguing lyrics certainly make this record worth checking out for fans of ambient metal."
8 out of 10.