Monday, April 16, 2012

Atoma - Skylight (2012)

Now if you remember any of my earlier reviews that I did about bands that mesh metal with techno then you’ll remember the results that I have come up with. Some bands, like Inner Fear, can pull it off perfectly while others, like Promises Lie, should be arrested for the sounds that they have created. Well there is a band that has completely mastered the mesh and not of only these two genres but many more as well. The band is known as Atoma. They have recently released their new album, entitled “Skylight.“ The band lists it as experimental post metal but they reach far beyond that. The album mixes so many different types of genres together it really cant be categorized. You’ll find everything from ambient post metal guitar and vocals to catchy techno synths to deathly growling vocals and heavy chugging guitar riffs. It’s the ultimate package.

The album opens with a four minute intro called “Atoma.” The instrumental is not your average heavy metal opener. It fills the air with atmospheric sounds and thumping toms and snares. Multiple layers of synth sound effects float on top of one another while a vibrant synth sound takes over with techno features. The music builds and builds for the full four minutes until you finally reach the song “Skylight.” This gorgeous track starts off quietly with unclear radio sound effects that quickly shift to distorted guitars and thunderous drum rolls. You’re blown away by an unexpected growl full of deep bass and haunting sounds. The vocals soon switch over to beautiful clean male vocals that echo across the constant guitars and heavy double bass pedal drum patterns. You’re then revisited by the vicious growling vocals that come through and destroy everything in its way. The orchestral instruments and keyboards are captivating as they surround you with angelic tones and allow the clean vocals to completely consume you. This track will have you head over heels for this album, and you haven’t even gotten to the meat of the album yet.

Techno melodies glide through the air softly in the beginning of “Hole In the Sky.” Distorted guitar slowly sneak in with heavy chugging riffs and destructive drum fills. The verses are full of clean vocals delivered in a loud yet soothing manner. The guitars continue to blast away throughout each verse leaving you barely enough time to catch your breath. It ends with beautiful keyboards and strings delivering epic melodies on top of violent guitar riffs while the vocals enter one last time. “Highway” slows down the mood with ravishing keyboards and slow basic kick and snare drum patterns. The vocals are almost at a whisper as they move through the track with ease. Soothing guitar riffs shine throughout the track with glorious moods and uplifting tones. The vocals awaken a bit during the refrain as they step up in volume but continue to keep their steadiness. The last minute ends with a whispering vocals repeating, “I need you” sending chills down your spine.

“Bermuda Riviera” drastically slows down the flow of the album at first with its practically silent entrance. Eventually futuristic synths fade their way in followed by a slow drum pattern slamming snares in your face with deafening snaps. The lead guitar comes in with soothing melodies acting as a vocal throughout the track, It cries to you in the most angelic tones. Things pick back up with “Resonance” as heavily distorted guitars jump back into the scene with catchy melodies and complex drum fills. The eerie synths take over the background leading you right into the verses. Soft singing vocals float through the air almost as if it were just another instrument adding a beautiful layer of sound to the mix. Cymbals colliding heavily keeps the track at an aggressive state but it still has its moments of relaxation.

“Solaris” is a short three and a half minute track that sounds like it came straight off an Armin Van Buuren techno album. The instrumental uses creative sounds and melodies to capture a catchy and unique tone. This also gives you a minute to embrace everything that you’ve heard so far. “Rainmen” sticks to the calm mood of “Solaris” with soft synths and catchy keyboards as the vocals run gently along side them. The only thing remotely close to violent are the drums that are busrting in the background. You can tell that they have been somewhat turned down in the mix however keeping its mellow sound throughout the track. The performance of the vocals are phenomenal and will have you wanting to hit the repeat button immediately. This shows the strong post metal side of the band. “Saturn & I” continues thing post metal sound with its soothing guitar melody and atmospheric keyboards. The instrumental sounds like it could be used as a score in some sort of sci-fi film.

The album comes to an end with “Cloud Nine.” the song runs for about four minutes and 40 seconds as beautiful synths pave the way for light guitar riffs to slow fade in with soothing melodies. The vocals take you by surprise as they introduce female vocals that lay gently across the keyboards and guitars. Her angelic voice delivers tons of emotion while you’re also hit with catchy strings and other orchestrated instruments at the same time. The song leaves you wanting so much more. You won’t be able to help but to replay this specific track a few times in a row before going back to the beginning. It’s just that addicting.

“Skylight” is not only unique but it is also completely different from any album I have ever heard. Atoma is refreshing with their mashed up genres and strange sounds and melodies. The album is well balance with every sing element that it has to offer. It mixes up the vocals on almost every track and throws in a few instrumentals as well. The atmospheric sound effect really pull you into a whole other world as you then come across different elements such as vicious growling, gorgeous clean vocals, violent drum patterns and futuristic sound effects. From beginning to end, this album will indeed have you hooked for a long period of time.


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