Monday, April 30, 2012


Napalm Records


Apparently there is more to the Stockholm, Sweden metal scene than just death metal. Who knew? "Skylight" may be Atoma's debut offering, but the band's roots can actually be traced back to the melodic doom metal group Slumber. In 2011, Slumber decided it was time they called it a day. The band split up and then turned right around and formed Atoma. The only thing is it had the same members as Slumber did so it was more like a continuation of the band if you will. Or maybe evolution is a better term to use? Either way with Slumber disbanded the members went a completely different route while still holding on loosely to Slumber's atmospheric elements. Whereas Slumber were a competent melodic doom band this is superb post rock/metal packed with interesting electronic and progressive rock elements. On "Skylight" the music has, for lack of a better description, an almost epic video game feeling. Almost more of a soundtrack-like quality than a traditional album. What exactly do I mean by that? Well, what unfolds before the listener is almost more akin to something you'd expect to hear out of a fantasy computer game than a heavy metal album. That might sound like an odd way to describe the sound, but with it's otherworldly electronic sound I almost felt as if I should be playing Final Fantasy or something! The music is given ample time to move about and develop on it's own. Post rock/heavy metal turns into nicely drawn-out ambient passages with perfectly placed keyboard work. It's beautiful, emotional and epic with complex layers that combine both natural and synthesized feelings. Just as heavy rock is settling in you'll find that the music has been transformed effortlessly into something deeper. The 10 tracks unite to form a sort of journey that's partly based in reality and the dreamworld. The atmospheric Atoma is lead by skillful vocalist/keyboardist/synth player Ehsan Kalantarpour. His smooth vocals fit what the band was aiming for sound wise although it must be said that the best moments on "Skylight" are when he steps aside and just lets the music speak for itself. When that happens your treated to this wonderful work of art that combines the best of what electronic music and post rock/heavy metal has to offer. Hopefully this is just the first of many albums for Atoma. It is not a perfect work of art mind you (as not every paint stroke is as evenly applied), but as for a first offering? When you consider for a moment that the band has only been around for a year or so, in this from at least, then "Skylight" is an amazing feat. It's created in such a fashion that you really need time away from everything in order to truly appreciate all it has to offer. For me that meant a quiet Monday morning alone in my study. With the kids off to school I can slip on my headphones, soak in the rich sounds and slowly drift away. I suspect that with the proper time to mature Atoma will really be special. There is a strong chance that the band could have the ability to create true masterpieces if "Skylight" is anything to go by. With it's many different colors and textures it is another album that I plan to enjoy time and time again.

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