Review: “” by Ghosts of Atlantis

Hailing from the depths of Suffolk’s Witch country, Symphonic Progressive Blackened Death Metal quintet Ghosts Of Atlantis are a new beast comprised of present and past members of Devilment, Failed Humanity, The Conflict Within and Cold Lazarus now unchained and free to create while leaning on a wealth of experience and knowledge gained from previous battles over the past decade as they continue to wage their own personal wars. Endorsed by Caparison Guitars, Kemper Amps, Bare Knuckle Pickups and Seymour Duncan while working with labels like Nuclear Blast and Candlelight records, their rich heritage has also seen them appear on some giant festival stages including Wacken Open Air, Summer Breeze, Grasspop, Bloodstock and Hammerfest as separately they were left spilling their blood, sweat and tears in the same mud. But now it is time for something new, born of old and they have chosen to build on the lore around the mythology of ancient Greece and the lost city of Atlantis while narrating their own story, weaving historical findings and fantasy storytelling into one epic journey…

Recorded and produced by guitarist and clean backing vocalist Colin Parks (Devilment) at Devilhead Studios before being mixed and mastered by James Stephenson at Stymphalian Productions and adorned by the incredible artwork of Drake Mefesta (The Red Opera, Diamorte), “” is an album rich in history in every sense of the word. Adding to that the proclaimed stylings of Symphonic Progressive Blackened Death Metal the album has more than enough Metal sub-genres covered to make it an enticing offering if the previous bands that the cult of this one are made up of don’t already have you salivating. The result of their endeavors is something of oxymoron as somehow they have achieved the unthinkable, something that sounds both familiar and fresh at the same time. “The Third Pillar” opens the gates of hell and unleashes an anthemic beast with Colin Parks managing to capture the hard hitting rhythm section of Rob Garner and Al Todd perfectly. Together they sound like an artillery shelling and give the music a real backbone, while Parks himself deserves a lot of credit, his clean backing vocal parts are incredible and add a wealth of depth and texture to the bands sound. The orchestration of “Halls of Lemurai” has been very well thought out and executed, giving an ethnic, almost Arabian Nights feel to the cut that has echoes of “Mother Kali” from “The Great And Secret Show” by Devilment with only the spoken word part straying from the path of tried and trusted. Turning things up a notch, like throwing gasoline on an already raging fire, “False Prophet” brings more blood and thunder from the rhythm section while having an ethereal quality enveloping it with choral parts and so much nuance that you simply can’t appreciate it all in one listen.

The galloping rampage of “The Curse of Man” continues the path with some Black Metal drum patterns throw to the four winds while Phil Primmer’s cryptic writings are delivered with a savage bark, the balance between the clean and unclean vocal parts building on the dramatic theatrics of the soundscape. A battle between Mortals and Gods plays out on the end of days during “When Tridents Fail” which has echoes of a Power Metal heart, rich in lush orchestration and told from a personal standpoint suggesting a deeper metaphorical meaning within those cryptic lyrics. The urgent riffs of “Poseidon’s Bow” and “Gardens of Athena” make way for some lead brilliance with guitarist Dex Jezierski given the opportunity to shine, the latter referencing the bands name lyrically “The Ghosts of Atlantis will decide your fate!“. A mid track acoustic interlude of flamenco guitar work accompanied by some dark piano gives everything a brooding, moody edge before ripping through the shackles with ease as it cuts back to the opening stylings for a huge finale. Mournful piano starts “The Lost Compass” giving the sense of a grandeur before the guitars come crashing down and deliver a fittingly anthemic closing with Park’s sing-a-long chorus moments making way for some seriously headbangable verses. The juxtaposition between the hardened Metal edges and the beauty of the album make for a thrilling and rewarding listen throughout, the sense of opulence giving rise to the question of the Royal Albert Hall being the only fitting venue for the band to perform these songs [8.5/10]

Track listing

  1. The Third Pillar
  2. Halls of Lemurai
  3. False Prophet
  4. The Curse of Man
  5. When Tridents Fail
  6. Poseidon’s Bow
  7. Gardens of Athena
  8. The Lost Compass” by Ghosts of Atlantis is out 26th March via Black Lion Records and is available over at bandcamp

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