Atlases – „Penumbra”
Pest Records

Atlases was founded by guitarist Ville-Veikko Laaksonen in 2017, after Laaksonen parted ways with his previous band Oceanwake. The right lineup was found rather quickly. Atlases, based in Pori, Finland – consists of five musicians who have influenced in bands like Apea, Filthy Vermin, Oceanwake, Palekastro Plays Kingston Wall, Sammontakojat, Sotahuuto & Vuoltee. Atlases´s music combines metal with atmospheric soundscapes, making the end result sound like Modern Post Metal, as they themselves call it. In July 2017 Atlases signed a deal with Pest Records and the end of the same year release their debut album „Penumbra”.
I have to say, when I first heard about this album, I wasn’t very intrigued. I was thinking another boring progressive influenced post-melodic band and I put the whole pass on it. Well when I eventually picked this fine release up I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.The album starts itself off with a nice eastern influenced progressive-core tune. It has a very light yet dark feeling to it, slowly breeding into a jittery edge of darkness. The guitar playing is simple, but conveys emotions, making the simplicity a contributor rather then a detractor.The guitar playing itself isn’t anything spectacular as far as technicality is concerned; however the simplicity contributes more to the release then anything, providing an almost atmospheric dream like surrounding.A lot of the guitar work is very repetitious, minimalistic, and simplistic, and that’s what this album is about. Beauty through minimalism. I don’t think any of the musicians would win awards for their technical ability, but the soloing on this album is beyond amazing. Simply beautiful. It’s not fast, nor does it seem technical, it just really… tugs at your heart strings, so to speak. Very tasteful.
The vocals are something that I find quite amazing. Though the vocalist may not be the most talented in the genre, he is by far up there. He ranges from soft almost dreamy melodic vocals to a harsh tortured growls which really emphasizes the great degrees of contrast in the album.
As the album progresses, it has a nice mix of both melodic slower songs, and harsher fast paced melodic death metal influenced songs which makes for a nice and varied listen, all while keeping the release solid and not seeming like it’s bouncing around all over the place.”Penumbra” truly feels like perfection at times but is still, only occasionally, diluted by the proverbial tap water. This is a perfectly likable band with a perfectly likable sound and plenty of jaw-dropping moments, but a lot of the songs do seem to exist more as vehicles for their powerful endings or choruses than to serve any purpose of their own.
Maybe this ins’t coming as something innovative but these guys really did managed to wear some old riff padrons and make them sound as something never heard before.While words can hardly do it justice, ”Penumbra” is the kind of album that leaves you comfortably numb for it’s entire 26:02 minutes running time. It’s a stirring piece of art, which will keep you coming back whenever you just need to disconnect from the world and drift away.