Delivering a fresh and quite engaging take on Post-Metal, today we have Finland’s Atlases and their sophomore release “Woe Portrait”. While many bands are staying within the confines of the genre, this band expands its boundaries with a very melancholic and melodic approach, filled with lush vocal arrangements, and additional atmospheric elements to create a very cohesive and expansive sound. As always, releases from LifeForce records continue to amaze us by their creativity and uniqueness, and this one is no exception to the rule.
The release opens with the punishing riffs and growls of “Dreadlight”, a very typical and powerful opening that gradually transforms into a completely pummeling riffing contest, setting a very hectic mood. “Halos” and “Eternia” change the pace a bit with a more hypnotic approach with lush clean vocals that suddenly merge with very aggressive onslaughts. These tracks have more of a Post Rock vibe with very interesting and powerful contrasting elements thrown in the mix, keep things heavy and dreamy at the same time.
Going into fully atmospheric and dreamy territories, “The Unsung Lament” is a two part track filled with lush instrumentation, shoegazey guitars and a very hypnotic pace… at first. Then the song delves into heavier territories with punishing onslaughts of crushing guitar riffs and pummeling growls. The contrast and construction of this song is quite intricate, allowing all different layers of the band’s sound to be exploited while delivering a heavy and engaging message. This is definitely one of the most unique pieces we have heard in this genre in quite a while.
As the release closes with the lush “Phoenix Trail”, the disarming “Solarist”, and the intense “Marta”, we are in awe of the creativity and uniqueness behind Atlases expansive sound. While you get your traditional Post Metal kicks from this release, “Woe Portrait” is so much more, thanks to a very complex juxtaposition of disparate elements that perfectly come together and overlap magically in this release.
|Album: Woe Portrait
Label: LifeForce Records
Release: October 23rd, 2020
Genre: Post Metal