Title: Ancient Spells
Label: Signal Rex
Release date: 24 April 2021 (Independent) / 11 June 2021 (Signal Rex)
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording
Well, hasn´t it been a while since you guys heard from me?
After taking a little moment to finish up my masters’ studies and law teaching, I am finally starting to have more time for other things and so, I decided to get back into writing by taking on Atrium, a one-man project that has now released a debut album titled Ancient Spells. The almost 40-minute-long album contains only five tracks, and I was excited to get back at it.
First in line was “Iron King”. Now, although labeled atmospheric black metal, it was still somewhat a surprise to hear the atmospheric and almost space sounding intro. The black metal embraces the whole soundscape in its angelic arms. The vibe is very special, it is true to the black metal molds, but at the same time the keyboards give it a positive input, creating several dimensions to the whole idea. “Despair of Silence” has a lovely intro for about 8 seconds as well, which are then overpowered with ghostly shrieks. The vibe is almost the same as the first track, however in a slower pace. This is good to have in your headphones while doing something else.
“Lands of Hyperborea” was my favorite track on here. In comparison to the others, it´s quite short, and it just keeps piling on sounds. Ringing church bell, a howling wolf; all together is almost sounding like that moment in the movie Silent Hill when the warnings were sounding before the dark came and everyone ran to the church to get away from Pyramid Head. The synth parts are very well worked.
“Crossing the Northern Sky” takes us back to the long tracks. It´s quite similar to the second track, and surely there are some toes wiggling to the beat. The way he transitions between the different chords is rather impressive, although they don´t necessarily fit well together in musical theory, but it makes it interesting. Almost like a pop song gone black metal. “Overture” is the last in line and includes what sounds like two or even three different drum patterns throughout. It works without becoming boring, which is always a risk when we are in this genre and these long tracks.
After a long break, I must say this was a pleasant one to come back to. This album is completely packed with mood and atmosphere, and I can see myself put this one back on the playlist to have in the background. 7/10 Julia Katrin
7/10 Victory is possible
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