Ghosts of Atlantis – 3/6/2/4

3/6/2/4 Album Cover Art

Ghosts of Atlantis – 3/6/2/4
Black Lion Records
Release Date: 26/03/2021
Running Time: 40:12
Review by Dark Juan
10/10

Good afternoon, my battle brothers and my sisters in slaughter. It is I, Dark Juan, Generalissimo and High Priest of all things metal. It is unaccountably sunny and clement in my mountain fastness of Dark Juan Terrace and as the shining horrible hot thing in the sky shines its baleful eye directly upon my pale and interesting countenance, my spirits lift from the morbid gloom of this most trying of winters and look forward into the joys of spring and possibly going out and meeting some people again instead of furtively scurrying through back doors and hoping the nosey old bitch at no. 42 didn’t spot you. That last sentence was not autobiographical. Oh no. Dark Juan would never countenance breaking any laws or orders. That would be a Very Bad Thing indeed. Never have I EVER even so much as fractured a law. Apart from the time my friend Gary Newgrosh was up a lamp post trying to steal a road sign and two gentlemen in suits with warrant cards asked whether I knew the lad with the road sign under his jacket and my drunken teenage response was “Piss off, I don’t talk to strange men.” And my speeding ticket last month. And all the stuff I have done in churches that I shouldn’t have. Some of them even consented…

None of which has anything to do with the fact that I am listening to Suffolk based gothic/symphonic/progressive blackened metallers Ghosts Of Atlantis’ debut offering, enigmatically entitled “3.6.2.4”. My immediate gut reaction about this record is that Cradle Of Filth have much to answer for as this style of quasi-black metal with added megagoth is now being touted as the Witch County sound (because Suffolk has had more than its fair share of witches and wise women, you see. The lucky bastards. Up North we just hung ours on Pendle Hill or in Alderley Edge.) I’m well aware that the sound of Cradle Of Filth and their ilk (Devilment, The Blood Divine and the like) are something of an acquired taste (I acquired mine in 1994 with ‘The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh’) and therefore a lot of metalheads will discount this as a load of gothic bollocks, which will be to their detriment as there is a lot more to Ghosts Of Atlantis than ever more high-pitched demented screaming and gothic nightmare. GOA happily welds in progressive riffs and time signatures and there is more than an element of power and symphonic metal with the clean vocals and the lyrical content and this lifts them easily above comparisons with the Filth and young Daniel Davey.

Ghosts of Atlantis are men on a mission to make sure that we remain acquainted with Ancient Greece and the lost city of Atlantis (or if you’re Welsh, Cantre’r Gwaelod, apparently just off the coast of Borth and Ynyslas, fact fans!) and base their songs around these concepts. Vocals run the whole gamut from absolute gut churning guttural roar to Filth-esque hellshriek to ZP Theart’s clean howl and some gorgeous harmonies. The high concept and that desire to switch from death screams and violence to progressive storytellers is most evident on ‘Gardens Of Athena’ which is an absolute tour de force as to why most experts about music consider metal a very difficult and complex style of music to play, almost classical in nature, as it moves from absolute murderous power and speed to soft acoustic and keyboard led passages, to Meshuggah style fractured time signatures, to power metal storytelling and back again. The fucking musicians on this record basically are living reminders to the fact I quit playing music because I frankly am not good enough. These people are mutants. Drummers should not be able to play such speedy and complicated rhythms and then change the fuckers mid song. It’s not fair. The guitarists should not have any fingertips left and the lead vocalist clearly has given up any thought of using his larynx in later life because he’s busily turning it to chunky salsa on this record. Commitment is not quite the word when it comes to Mr. Primmer’s vocal style. More, “I hate this piece of comically shaped gristle in my throat region and I am going to reduce it to its component atoms by means of abusing it so hard there should be a court case pending.” I dread to think how he whispers sweet nothings to his significant other. Probably from the next town over.

This record seriously has everything a metal fan (and not a few goffs) could desire. There’s utter powerviolence and speed, complexity in songwriting and riffage (the work of Colin Parks and Dex Jezierski on the guitars is superb – often choppy and sharp, frequently rapid and machine gun like but also classical, fluid and drop dead gorgeous, normally several times in the same song), the keyboard work is swoopingly gothic and sinuous (not unlike Cradle Of Filth in the more goff passages, but also gorgeously Eastern sounding in parts) and the drummer (Rob Garner) clearly has been issued with extra limbs by whoever is in charge of Quartermaster stores for that sort of thing. There’s no other explanation for what the hell he achieves behind his kit. Al Todd on the bass is also excellent but he is sometimes swamped by the sheer grandiosity of the music. The production is also pretty spot on too, although I find the guitar sound a little too highly engineered for my taste and I’d like to hear more bass, but it is a clear and legible sound that Ghosts Of Atlantis enjoy and the tiny niggles I have with the sound do not detract from my considerable enjoyment of what can only be described as a magnum opus, which is staggering in scope and jaw dropping in execution. Where I was blown away by The Machinist for their record’s sheer power and sonic violence, I am blown away by this record because it is a record that is greater than its influences might suggest it would be. Mixing Meshuggah, Cradle Of Filth, Hecate Enthroned, Dragonforce and Luca Turilli could have ended up a huge and disjointed mess, instead we have something that should become classic. The elements employed slot together seamlessly and every song drips uniqueness and splendour.

In conclusion, it’s fucking brilliant. Ghosts Of Atlantis are going to be huge if they carry on like this. My only concern is that the musical influences are that diverse, that the more gothic might avoid them because they are too metal and the metal kids might avoid them because they are too goth, or too progressive. Alternatively, I could just be spouting a load of ultrashite and Ghosts Of Atlantis will follow in the path of their Suffolk witchy, gothic cousins Cradle Of Filth and achieve global domination in short order.

I hope they do. For a debut album, this is absolutely fucking incredible.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Ghosts Of Atlantis a stonking 10/10 for an almost perfect record that has everything. Well done, gentlemen. Well done indeed.

*Polite applause*

‘Halls Of Lemuria’ (Official Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Third Pillar
02. Halls Of Lemuria
03. False Prophet
04. The Curse Of Man
05. When Tridents Fail
06. Poseidon’s Bow
07. Gardens Of Athena
08. The Lost Compass

LINE-UP:
Colin Parks – Guitars, Backing Vocals (Clean)
Phil Primmer – Vocals
Dex Jezierski – Guitars
Al Todd – Bass
Rob Garner – Drums

LINKS:

Ghosts Of Atlantis Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Ablaze My Sorrow – Among Ashes And Monoliths

Among Ashes And Monoliths Cover Art

Ablaze My Sorrow – Among Ashes And Monoliths
Black Lion Records
Release Date: 12/02/2021
Running Time: 44:27
Review by Emma Torkington
8/10

Ablaze My Sorrow are no strangers to the death metal scene by any means! Starting in 1993 they made a huge impact right away. During the intervening years, the band has changed, but their heart has stayed the same. Now back with their fifth album, can it reach new heights for this Swedish band?

Jumping right in with the first track ‘My Sorrow’, new vocalist Jonas Udd has a great raspy voice perfectly suited for the backing of kick ass drums and guitars. I know I am only one song in, but I am liking what I am hearing here. The title track is next and it does not disappoint, kicking in with a 19 second heavy solo then a deep growl start. Personally, I love it when a song has that type of build- up. Having said that, the way the song moves from that growl into a mosh pit worthy track, means I can see this being played and going down well at festivals (when they are allowed again) and bringing in the crowds. We are onto track 3 ‘Black Waters’ and this has a totally different feel to what you have heard so far! A melodic song and deep, guttural vocals were a total shock to me but a welcome surprise. ‘Grit’ is up next…and it is gritty! This fast-paced song takes you to a whole other place and you cannot help but air guitar along to it! It’s 3 minutes and 39 seconds of heavy drums, guitars and bass…what more could you ask for? ‘Her Cold Embrace’ is next and the over a minute-long intro makes you sway to the melody of the instruments. When the vocals kick in, though, it takes on a totally different feel and guest vocalist Jonna Enckell’s voice complements Udd’s perfectly.

We are now nearly half way through, what appears to be a wonderful album and ‘At The Graves Of Giants kicks you with a bang, the fast-paced and gut punching drums do not disappear for a second! ‘Dark Chasms’ is another absolute mosh pit favourite. For me this has everything I need from a death metal song…deep vocals, shredding guitars, intense bass lines and thundering drums. This is my favourite track on “Among Ashes And Monoliths”! Onto the home stretch now and ‘The Cavernous Deep’ is something I wasn’t expecting but a very pleasant change. The intro is totally different in style with an electronic feel. There is also a slight change in tempo, but I was nodding along happily to it. Now it’s the turn of ‘Nonextence’ and wow…what an entrance. As soon as I hit play, ‘BOOM’!! Now, this is never a bad thing in my book. In fact, when it happens, I always crank up that volume and make sure my neighbours can hear it! Track 10 ‘March Of The Eldritch Spawn’ is a beautifully played near two minutes of pure instrumental music, that feels like the sort of thing you would hear in a film/play, just before the hard-hitting ending commences, and it acts as an introduction to the penultimate track ‘The Day I Die’. This song, in particular, reminds me of In Flames earlier work and I am completely hooked. ‘Frihet Framför Feghet’ is the final song of this incredible album and acts as an epic finale!

If you love everything that Swedish melodic death metal has to offer then go and buy this album! Even if you are not a huge fan of death metal, I still strongly recommend giving this a listen. I am not the biggest death metal fan in the world, but this gave me everything I needed. I was dancing, headbanging and most importantly…playing air guitar like the over 30’s do best!

‘My Sorrow (Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. My Sorrow
02. Among Ashes And Monoliths
03. Black Waters
04. Grit
05. Her Cold Embrace
06. At The Graves Of Giants
07. Dark Chasms
08. The Cavernous Deep
09. Nonextence
10. March Of The Eldritch Spawn
11. The Day I Die
12. Frihet Framför Feghet

LINE-UP:
Jonas Udd – Vocals
Magnus Karlsson – Guitars
Dennie Lindén – Guitars
Anders Brorsson – Bass
Alex Kribensten – Drums

LINKS:

Ablaze My Sorrow Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Emma Torkington and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Re-Armed – Ignis Aeternum

Re-Armed – Ignis Aeternum
Black Lion Records
Release Date: 05/06/2020
Running Time: 46:47
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

I guess I am not the only person in the world that has a dream to visit different countries and learn about their culture, food, and drink. Of course, many people have this dream, but it is very expensive, and a short five-day trip is not enough to understand everything about another country. Maybe it is just my impression, but sometimes I feel like I know more about a country from listening to their music, in my case, imagining local scenes and bands. Here I am talking about Finland and whilst I can’t visit to see its beauty I have, at least, got this specific review and band to give me a good impression of Heavy Metal.

Re-Armed are not a new band considering this is their fourth album and I was impressed by how they managed to include so many elements throughout the 46 minutes of this record. The balance between all of these elements is sublime and it is hard to say which of them is the most prevalent. Of course, Melodic Death Metal is probably the first thing that will appear in the listener’s mind, but influences like the symphonic darkness from Septic Flesh or keyboards that perhaps remind of Cradle Of Filth are present on this album although these elements are not used to exacerbate their sound like some bands use. The technique of the solos and the excellent record production are of a quality that you usually associate with Power or Symphonic Metal bands. This is magnificent considering Re-Armed’s music is nothing like those two genres.

I also have to mention something related to the atmospheric music that comes from the multiple Doom influences contained within the album, like the beautiful ‘The Hollow Lights’. Maybe it is the slow cadence, the clean vocals in this song (cleaner than other songs) and all catchy and lilting melodies that made me feel it. I had this same impression during the slow introduction of ‘Remain Unbounded’ even though this track speeds up, in a perfect Dark Tranquility style, after the intro. All the heaviness returns in ‘Words Left Unsaid’, keeping a good cadence and ‘Voyager’ also seems to rescue the fast spirit from the two first songs on the album, that are perfect to understand the essence of Re-Armed. This time, in ‘Voyager’, the keyboards reminded me of old Progressive Rock players, like Rick Wakeman, for example.

As you can see, Re-Armed are a very complete band. What left me most astonished is how they manage to marry so many incredible and diverse elements, yet the music is still so easy and enjoyable to listen to and digest. I don’t know anything about Finland, but in terms of Metal, I can assure you that the bands that come from there have perfected the art of clear production and of writing melodies and harmonies. I can and will call “Ignis Aeternum” a masterpiece, considering the complexity of the compositions, but which also sound simple at the same time. If you are a fan of good music, you will easily love everything on this album from the first note until the last.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Dive Within
02. Beyond The Horizon
03. Ode To Life
04. Eager To Collapse
05. Resistance
06. The Hollow Lights
07. Remain Unbounded
08. Words Left Unsaid
09. Voyager
10. Built To Last

LINE-UP:
Oskari Niekka – Guitars
Juhana Heinonen – Bass
Iiro Karjalainen – Drums
Allan Välimaa – Guitars
Jouni Matilainen – Lead vocals

LINKS:
www.rearmed.net
www.facebook.com/rearmed
www.twitter.com/ReArmedOfficial
www.instagram.com/rearmedofficial/
www.youtube.com/user/ReArmedOfficial

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.