Like any self-respecting douche on the internet should, I tend to listen to related projects and often spin through entire artist discographies when reviewing new music. This listening research can help bring into focus the shape of artistic careers while tracking successful innovations, general changes in approach, and song-writing skill. The trouble with ‘researching’ for an underground funeral doom metal super group is that I had to conquer about 18 total hours of albums by Void of Silence, Landskap, Aphotic Threnody, and Pantheist. Interestingly enough, I’d already been listening to Landskap‘s unique form of traditional doom regularly since they recently disbanded for the sake of focusing on other projects. It’s a shame that their 2016 album never got a physical release and I hope that still happens. As for the sonic relationship between Towards Atlantis Lights and those other bands I’d say even a comparison to Pantheist would be a bit vague, although Void of Silence‘s ‘The Grave of Civilization’ had similar Funeral Doom pacing and atmospheric qualities. It is however, an excellent collaboration.
‘Dust of Aeons’ is inescapably dominated by the incredible 30 minute opening track “The Bunkur of Life” showcasing some of Kostas Panagiotou‘s most restrained and tasteful keyboard work and a vocal performance entirely separate in range from his work with Pantheist. The track invokes the rumbling terror of Aphotic Threnody but reigns in that darkness towards something closer to Warning‘s ‘Watching From A Distance’ extruded through funeral doom architecture. I never felt like I was just getting pulled along for a random slow-motion ride, which is a feat for any funeral doom influenced half hour song, in fact the pacing is brilliantly handled throughout the song’s length. The standout movement in “The Bunkur of Life” comes about a third of the way through as the pace rises into full death/doom riffing and rests back down into haunting funeral doom for the final fifteen or so minutes. It is as dynamic and moving as Bell Witch‘s opus last year, but far more memorable and lacking the post-metal influences. The same can be said for the rest of the record.
Similar dynamics wrestle across the remaining half hour of ‘Dust of Aeons’, so if the opening track felt long-winded and exhausting, the other three tracks are more-or-less quicker to their payoff. Much of the record musters up the same restless melodramatic tension of bands like Mournful Congregation and Shape of Despair but with greater emphasis on both guitar driven atmospheric death/doom metal jaunts and disenchanted, ethereal clean vocals. In fact those clean vocals unexpectedly cap off the album with “Greeting Mausolus’ Tomb” in a powerful spoken-sung ode to death that dramatically welcomes the end of life, and finishes off one of the strongest funeral doom records in recent memory. Highly recommended to fans of Pantheist, Mournful Congregation, and Lycus.
|Released||March 5, 2018|
|BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp!||Follow Towards Atlantis Lights on Facebook|
Atmospheric Doom Metal, Funeral Doom Metal
The sombre confines of life. 3.85/5.0
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