AtomA:Skylight

With a depth and vastness as dramatic as the story within it, Skylight the debut album from AtomA, is a mighty and stunning release. It offers a colossal mass of startling soundscapes with one overall giant and expansive journey which takes the senses, thoughts, and emotions on soaring and impactful discoveries of new worlds and fulfilling experiences. It brings forth a vast aural universe which is almost too expansive as one almost finds themselves lost within its textures and realms of aural beauty and striking intensity to border the loss of concentrated focus on the canvas before them as personal thoughts and images find their own adventure.

AtomA was formed in 2011 by vocalist and synth player Ehsan Kalantar alongside bassist Siavosh Bigonah (both ex-Slumber members) with drummer Markus Hill joining shortly after and later completed by guitarist Jari Lindholm. Together the band set out with the intention of creating vast and atmospheric soundscapes fuelled by heavy and imposing melodies and structures to bring a multi layered and faceted sound which enveloped and explored the listener as much as they searched through its richness. A line in the band bio states, AtomA was to become an escapism playground taking the trio far from earth, where obsession of ideas and innovations constantly drove the group to try achieving new ways of expressions within the metal/rock sphere. This is certainly what they have magnificently achieved within Skylight not only for themselves but in making a similar world for its recipienmts to immerse within.

Recorded in 2010 at The Panic Room with the official band sound-engineer partner Thomas Johansson (Watain, Torchbearer, Scar Symmetry), Skylight brings melodic and symphonic metal into a mesmeric blend with anything from death metal, electronica, ambience, and post rock to name a few.  It is a majestic and genuine self labelling creation which encompasses a spectrum of sounds as large as the galaxy its story travels. The album centres around astronauts lost and searching through worlds for refuge, the songs portraying and borne of their minds and emotions in their journey of discovery and the impact on their feelings and thoughts. The striking monolith symbol on the cover of the album is the representation of their ultimate discovery of a unique anomaly on a planet whilst the album and astronauts story, again as stated in their bio …very much reflects the groups own alienation and detachment from the world, and also a deep longing for an unknown home.

As one suspects from those lines the album is an ever evolving and growing story which starts with the opening track AtomA and its epic dawning of intensity. The track does not rush to fully expand its reach and vast expanse rather choosing to slowly stretch its view into sight within an intense and intimidating atmosphere of things distinctly unknown. With tribal and instinctive rhythms the track sprawls and looms larger and larger into view to fully engulf the emotions and senses.

The following title track swarms around the ear with a black metal aggression within a more powerful warm and melodic wash of thick and glorious grandeur. There is a challenging power to the song, a predatory edge which lies as a warning within the imposing and intimidating yet beckoning atmosphere.  Within these opening two songs one is fully involved and feeling part of the experience such the power and impressive craft within the album and a connection the stunning Hole In The Sky ensures is a permanent bond. The best piece on the album, its riffs puncturing the senses like aural missiles raining down and the melodies slicing through with a crystal clarity and acidic edge.  Intensive, aggressive and dramatically melodic the track is an immense piece of work as is the albbum as a whole.

Every track is as impactful as any other from Bermuda Riveira with its opening revelation of the reason for the journey of the astronauts, through the celestrial elegance of Solaris, onto Rainmen with its dazzling crystalline ambience and the closing ethereal grace of Cloud Nine. It is no undertstatement to announce by its end that Skylight is enormous in sound, atmosphere, imagination, and quality.

Each mutual journey with the album brings the discovery of something new to persistently confirm that AtomA has brought a truly impressive and fulfilling release that will endure an age as long as its journey.

RingMaster 01/05/2012

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Spawn of Possession – Incurso

Having heard impressive things about Swedish technical death metal band Spawn Of Possession there was an added intrigue about the eagerness that accompanied the venture into the new album from the band, Incurso. One can read a never ending flow of words in praise but it is only when the sound and creativity hits you that you understand the height or depth of a band or their release. Nothing indicated the stunning and immense power, uniqueness, and pure imagination that were to unfold as Incurso laid its wizard spawn artistry and ingenuity upon the ear. First listen has one staggering under the sheer weight of diversity and inventiveness not to mention the all consuming intensity, but given further attention and shared experiences the album becomes part of everything, as potent as breathing and as lingering as death.

       Incurso is the third album from the band and their debut on Relapse Records. The five year wait has been long for their fans to endure and an unpredictable time for the band with multiple line-up changes sine predecessor Noctambulant. Last year saw the combined might of guitarists Jonas Bryssling ( last remaining band founder) and Christian Müenzner (Obscura, Ex-Necrophagist, Ex-Defeated Sanity), bassist Erlend Caspersen (Deeds Of Flesh, ex-Blood Red Throne), drummer Henrik Schönström (Unmoored, ex-Torchbearer), and former drummer Dennis Röndum who moved to fronting the band with his inspired vocals, emerging and together conjuring and album which not only sets the senses aflame but manipulates and toys with them like maniacal puppeteers.

It really is hard to describe the majesty and incredible technical skill as well as the pure organic feel the band creates on the album. Incurso is a release that hits you instantly but also takes time unveiling all of its qualities and deeply rooted additive grip. Whether listening to it for the third or thirteenth time something new finds its way into the ear bringing each listen a surprising and new experience taken with a close hearted friend. Repeating dreams or nightmares offer something new with each venture into your sleeping state, Incurso does the same bringing new shadows and light with malicious twists each and every time it fingers your senses and consciousness.

The release opens with instrumental Abodement, a piece which is for them relatively straight forward but opens up the ear with a skilled musical weaning before taking one into the maelstrom of intrusive delights ahead. Where Angels Go Demons Follow takes no time getting down to business, its guitars slicing through the ear with crafty intricate skill and maximum venom whilst the slightly reserved rhythms rather than blast its victim wears them down with incessant niggling. The bass plunders the nerves with intimidating riffs whilst Röndum spews out his intent and words with the blackest malevolence. Combined they pilfer the senses of feeling until they lie numb and shell shocked under the intense testing. This is only the second track; you can imagine how one feels as the closing threat of Apparition takes its leave.

As songs like The Evangelist, a track which spatters the ear with intensive rhythms and provocative riffs whilst meandering through scorched diversity, and Deus Avertat rupture and expel a sonic beauty and devastation upon every corner of the mind and body, the album just grows in greatness and more power. The second of these two songs courts the mind with acidic intrusions whilst leaving it with bruised contusions from its unrelenting complex and sophisticated senses blowing conjurations. From beginning to end the album ignites and fires up so many emotions and thoughts to match its vast cacophony of ingenious creativity, songs like Servitude Of Souls and No Light Spared as triumphant as those already mentioned.

Imagine the likes of Obscura, Gorod, Uneven Structure, and Meshuggah boiled down to a puree and then added to something distinctly different and you get Spawn Of Possession. Incurso is a monstrous beast, and as it annihilates and blisters the senses with its technical brutality and sophisticated creativity it takes them into new realms and pleasures, lighting them up and eager for more and more of its violations. The album hits hard and fast inviting you to spend more and more time in its devious arms, but the delights it gives when you succumb are beyond measure, try it!

RingMaster 09/03/2012

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