Metal Bulletin Zine (est. 2006) is a metal music zine (Seattle region), online and on paper. 160 issues so far.
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Saturday, August 17, 2019
review: Atlas Pain
Tales of a Pathfinder
19 April 2019
The introduction to the album is very inviting and wholly fits the purpose it is supposed to have. The mood of anticipation is awesome, the opera house introduction, along with the clapping, and the speaking voice, which sounds like a bombastic circus master hyping up, it’s all good stuff. Then the first song opens and it is a most memorable first song, about as perfect for fans to raise fists, bang heads, play air or real guitar, and growl along as there is in 2019. This first song, “The Moving Empire,” reveals the band’s classy and fancy mix of European-style melodic extreme metal with fast, uptempo riffs, sometimes sounding like melodic death metal, sometimes like power metal, filled with symphonic keyboards featuring a great abundance of melodies, and a classy, well-done growl (that is similar to black metal) to top off the band’s style. Atlas Pain is shameless in its quest to create the perfect melodic extreme metal album. The listener may feel like this is something along the lines of epic symphonic folk power extreme metal. They prefer to keep the music uptempo of various speeds. There is speed, but there is lots of variety to capture the feel of grandiose songs. At the same time, the album is generally uptempo, and not a slow, nor a midtempo work.
Here are some interesting details to observe. The band does not do the growl/sing thing, although in places they have male choruses that are a clear voice, somewhere in the low-midrange spectrum. The black metal-style growl is rather gorgeous, and when it is backed up by said melodic male choruses (which, of course, are reminiscent of a church choir or a symphony, which is sort of the same idea, anyway) it’s so fun. Towards the end of “The Great Run,” they show a hint of techno dance music by allowing a very brief segment that completely isolates the techno dance vibe, a fun jest for the fans. Europeans just can’t help themselves; it seems that even the most metal Europeans cannot quit their addiction to techno. “Kia Kaha” may remind you of epic folk metal from Finland (you know who!). The mellow outro, while not bad, is a bit too quiet, the volume is too low. It seems to be missing that special effort that it took to put the intro together. Overall, the band has worked hard to give the audience the sensation of stories about time travel and the adventures of going to various times and places in history and mythology, and put it all to songs that fans of can understand as their own musical language in terms of “story metal.”