AtomA

Skylight

01. Atoma
02. Skylight
03. Hole In The Sky
04. Highway
05. Bermuda Riviera
06. Resonance
07. Solaris
08. Rainmen
09. Saturn And I
10. Cloud Nine

[04/10/12]
[Napalm Records]

The synthesizer is a lost art. When is the last album that you can remember the synths playing such a large part in an entire album (The Contortionist excluded)? I know that many bands have tried using synths and failed, and quite honestly, it’s easy to see why. It’s hard to take an instrument that is very artificial and put it into an unnatural environment. Nearly every Rush album in the 1980s had synths, and while they aren’t my favorite albums from their collection, I love how well the synthesizers fit in with the rest of the song. A parallel can also be drawn to this band, who have released one of the best synth-driven albums in recent memory.

AtomA is a post-metal band that hails from Sweden, the home of some of the best music out there. Siavosh Bigonah and Ehsan Kalantarpour were members of the melodic death/doom band Slumber, which disbanded after the release of their only album, Fallout.  Ehsan, who handles the vocals and synths, is definitely the star performer on this album. His voice is calm and soothing, blending into the realm of sound he creates with his fingers and those black and white keys. He even displays some growled vocals in the song ‘Skylight,’ which is an album highlight. Its soaring keyboards and deviation from growls to cleans is simply flawless.

Another thing I really love is the lyrics. The chorus in ‘Skylight,’ for example, is written in Persian by a young girl who was asked what her thoughts were on the end of the world. It reads, in translated form, “An axe to the head, we walk to the night, bringing down the sun.” Simply beautiful. Lyrics that deal with stuff so apocalyptic but convey them in a beautiful way is one easy road to my heart. Also, this album some very significant techno influences, sometimes swapping real drums with programmed ones, which can be felt on the interlude ‘Bermuda Riviera.’

This album is flooded with great qualities, but there is one thing that I cannot seem to get past. This album only has one song with growls on it, and it’s kind of a shame. I feel like if they incorporated more growls into the songs, they could have been pushed up to the next level, and that would have made this album that much more brilliant and diverse, and would have been pushing the word “perfect.” Oh well; It’s not to take away from any of the cleans on this album, however, because they are crisp and delivered with finesse not seen nowadays.

In essence, this album is one long space voyage into the unknown galaxies far and wide. So I suggest you strap yourself into this spaceship of an album and be prepared for an experience that will lead you to rediscover some albums you probably haven’t had on your regular rotation in a while (Cynic’s Focus comes to mind), because it will not only bode you well, but it will prepare you for AtomA’s next release, NOVA, which they have already begun to write.

AtomA – Skylight

4/5

-SS

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