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Atheos – Words Of Eroding Worlds Award winner

Atheos
Words Of Eroding Worlds
by Thomas Kumke at 23 November 2020, 5:42 PM

ATHEOS hailing from Mullingar, Ireland were formed in 2005. Initially formed as TRANQUILITY REGAINED, they released their self-named demo back in 2006. From the initial line-up John Byrne, John Sullivan, and Wayne Walsh are still with the band. ATHEOS play Technical Death Metal and include Celtic elements into that. Prior to their latest album, they released one EP and one full-length album back in 2013. “Words Of Eroding Worlds” was released via Niflhel Records, a Canadian label specialized in Black and Death Metal. The album has a total length of almost 57 minutes.

Words Of Eroding Worlds” is an album that contains a lot of different elements and layers. It goes way beyond traditional Death Metal in several ways: beside the typical crunching guitars, blast beats, and guttural attacks from hell, the song structures are quite complex, distorted at times, the overall sound is doom-laden enhanced by creating a dark atmosphere that has its origin in the ancient Celtic culture and mysticism. The tempo on the album varies throughout, the very fast songs such as “Morte Sumus” or “Become Dust Colossus” are the minority though, there are a couple of songs that vary tempo like “Deus Vult Illud,” and then there are a number of slower songs like “Embers Obscure The Sun”, “Ruins Monarch,” or “Oceans Flame.”

Atmospheric build-ups to songs are one of the main themes on the album. “Morte Sumus” is one example, “Embers Obscure The Sun” is another one. The former one transitions into the more traditional Death Metal world with hammering blast beats, heavy guitar riffs and guttural vocals, all mixed with atmospheric layers which act on an equal footing with the bludgeoning sound.

Embers Obscure The Sun” is surely a highlight on the album, not only because of the length of almost 10 minutes. ATHEOS created a masterpiece in terms of building up and maintaining an atmosphere that could not be darker. The acoustic guitar intro shaded with the cold atmosphere of a dark landscape slowly transitions into a grim and monotone rhythm of the guitar, bass, and drums including lead sequences that maintain the atmosphere of the song. Even when the lead guitar and blast beats dominate proceedings during the middle part of the song, the doom and gloom remains, leaving the listener disturbed and with goose bumps. “Embers Obscure The Sun” was also released on video in a slightly shorter version and the video clip creates a dark atmosphere as well. I liked especially the way how the partially surreal pictures were mixed with the band playing their instruments but not having too many cuts. The YouTube link to the video is given below.

Another highlight is “The Parchminer:” relatively simple in structure, stomping and heavy rhythm throughout the song, underpinned by frequent blast beat attacks as well as atmospheric lead guitar sequences that reminded me on the late eighties psychedelic period of VOIVOD. “The Parchminer” is a beast of a song also because it maintains the darkness of the preceding “Embers Obscure The Sun” although both songs are very different.

I should mention two more songs with “Smashing The Antler Throne” and “Oceans Flame,” since they summarize the album quite well: complex in structure, a grim atmosphere, heavy and crunching guitar rhythms, distorted lead sequences, and the guttural vocals Hick O’Aodha that are very different from the traditional Death Metal growls, but fit perfectly to the sound of the album.

Words Of Eroding Worlds” is a Death Metal album with a multitude of elements from different subgenres. Creating a dark and frosty atmosphere is an overarching theme and ATHEOS are perfect in this. The album is relatively long with four songs above seven minutes, but if the listener dives into it, it may be a very short hour of music. “Words Of Eroding Worlds” is more mature and of much better quality compared to the previous album. The songwriting is excellent throughout and the album is well produced. ATHEOS set the bar very high with their technical, atmospheric, cultural, and partially psychedelic approach to Death Metal and it will be exciting to see how the band progresses in the future.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  9
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Morte Sumus
2. Become Dust Colossus
3. Embers Obscure The Sun
4. The Parchminer
5. Deus Vult Illud
6. Ruins Monarch
7. Smashing The Antler Throne
8. The Hollow Stone
9. Oceans And Flame
Lineup:
Hick O’Aodha – Vocals
John Sullivan – Guitars
John Byrne -­ Guitars
Wayne Walsh – Drums
Eddie O’Malley – Bass
Record Label: Niflhel Records
     


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