Artist: Ghosts of Atlantis
Label: Black Lion Records
Release Date: 26 March 2021
Country: England, United Kingdom
Digital Price: 7 EUR ($8.43)
Length: 40min 13s
Here is a bold release from a band that has impressed me right off the bat. Ghosts of Atlantis (‘GOA’) are a brand-new band from Suffolk, England with their debut release, 126.96.36.199. As it often happens these days with new projects like this, 188.8.131.52 is a full album, with eight tracks and not a second of filler in sight. Where in years past new bands were served well with demos, splits, and EPs early on in their careers, Ghosts of Atlantis show they have the chops to dispense with test releases.
That is because GOA appear to have nailed it already with 184.108.40.206. In fact, I knew this album had to be reviewed right away, from the moment I listened to Halls of Lemuria, which was in fact the first Ghosts of Atlantis song listened to before I went back and listened to the album in its entirety. This is metal with a Scandinavian and almost gothic feel as well, having symphonic, black and death metal influences. That is all unsurprising given the band cites key influences from Children of Bodom and Cradle of Filth.
There are a variety of elements working in GOA’s favor with this album, the first of which is of course the line up of the band itself. The album was produced by band member Colin Parks (Devilment) at Devilhead Studios and mastered by James Stephenson. The production on this album was handled masterfully, with every instrument and vocal vibrant and clear. Nothing ever feels overshadowed, and that is difficult to say the least for an extreme metal band to achieve.
On vocals we have Phil Primmer (Sower, Cold Lazarus), whose harsh delivery and howls imbue the album with an intensity that is not easy to attain. Many vocalists attempt this style and end up sounding a little cartoonish or comical in doing so. Not Primmer, whose seemingly effortless delivery is complemented by the brilliant, operatic clean vocals of Parks. At the same time, there are choral elements throughout the album and occasional female vocal appearances therein. This all combines to give 220.127.116.11 a level of depth, emotion, and variety that I simply cannot praise enough.
In the midst of all this, Parks is out there with his guitar, playing alongside Dex Jezierski to give us some aggressive, pounding riffs while bassist Al Todd (Failed Humanity, Extreme Noise Terror) hits us with that thiccy mix. Then to cap it all off, there is Rob Garner on drums, whose blast beats, skilful fills, and warlike drumming completes GOA’s sound sends us blasting off into an emotive dimension of imagery and sound. Let us not forget the symphonic influences and classical instrumentation, and we have here an album whose vibes could send me on an adventure to the ends of the earth.
Currently in this pre-release phase (at the time of this review’s publication) there are only four tracks from 18.104.22.168 available for you to listen to. The first of these is The Third Pillar, a song accompanied by the first full music video the band has released in the lead up to the album’s release on March 26th. Repeated listens resulted in chills down the spine as the brilliance of this song as an opener for the overall album set in. 22.214.171.124 is a concept album obviously inspired by Greek mythology, and yet scratching the surface shows how relevant the themes of this album are, with its tales of war, interventions by world-dominating personalities, civilization-ending natural catastrophes and refugees fleeing in search of a better life.
Tracks like False Prophet carry that vibe, with an all-too-familiar story of a charismatic figure bearing promises of making life great again to great applause. All the while, this man is merely leading them astray, taking advantage of the faithful for his own gain. Of course, all the different themes are sprinkled throughout the story of the album. The role of the The Third Pillar is as an introductory piece. It comes with a bold war march sound, epic choral backing and an adventurous aggression that sets the tone for the rest of the album, giving you the feeling that you’re in for a hell of a ride.
This is the sort of album that has me absolutely clamoring to see GOA live – a band even half as good as this can be amazing live, but when one accounts for the sheer quality of 126.96.36.199 and its epic mood, I can’t help but imagine in these times of lockdown how much we’re missing by not being able to attend their gigs. The band had a great vision for this album, and they have more than pulled it off. Whether you’re interested in simply listening and being carried away, or focusing in on the details of the compositions and all the little secrets within the project, you’re going to love 188.8.131.52, especially if you enjoy extreme metal with an epic, mythological feel to it.
Listen to and order the album:
Order the album: