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Atlantis Chronicles – Barton’s Odyssey Award winner

Atlantis Chronicles
Barton’s Odyssey
by Anton Sanatov at 19 September 2016, 1:07 AM

“The sea is only the embodiment of a supernatural and wonderful existence. It is nothing but love and emotion; it is the ‘Living Infinite’, as one of your poets said.” Jules Verne, ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea’.

An adventure you say? Oh, how we all seek one of those. How we crave to plunge into the depths of sensational extremes and emerge soaked in colourful wisdom…or in the very least our own juices of excitement.

A mighty voyage has long been the customary subject matter of any self-respecting epic. Be it a journey into a void of darkness or across the seas to the warm winds of the hero’s homelands, the narcotic craving for discovery bloats those sails with fearless gusts and keeps the vessel shredding through the ocean. Yet for all those endless miles covered, it is the leagues beneath the sea line that often have the most to tell.

In the open waters of the Metal world the search for new music can often resemble the aforementioned sentiments; sometimes you have to get wet in order to get your hands on a gem. So get ready and grab an aqua-lung, for the French quintet ATLANTIS CHRONICLES are taking you along on “Barton’s Odyssey” - a descent of Jules Verne’s proportions into the mad abyss of Technical Metal.

The maelstrom opens with “The Odysseus” and swallows the Nautilus with multi-coloured currents of frantic guitar-work (that features some of the cleanest and most impressive tapping technique I’ve ever heard) complemented with machine-like battery from the engines of percussion.  The plunge into the vortex brings the character of “Otis Barton” to light, and showcases the Neo-Classical inner soul of this record that sings with mesmerizing guitar arpeggios and intense blast of modern Metal fundamentals – i.e. thrashing verses of brutal vocal delivery and pounding, maniacal rhythms.

Yet what truly makes this record stand out – even as it traverses the seabed – are its phenomenal melodic attributes. Although classified as Technical Death Metal, its heavy characteristics are more akin to that of reputable core-infused Progressive bands in the likes of such outfits as MONUMENTS and VIDHJARTA, whilst its sense of melody– which is brought out by the aforementioned virtuosic guitar contributions of Alex Houngbo and Jérôme Blazquez – screams of Neo-Classical metal greats like Jason Becker intertwined along the lines with modern Math/Progressive disciples in the likes of SIKTH.

Tracks like “Within the Massive Stream” and “Flight of the Manta” can very well bare the stylistic moniker of Neo-Classicore, as they send the sea life trembling with emotive verse and frenzied chromatic licks, all the while maintaining a steady amount of knots as they take the listener through whirlpools of intricate songwriting. Yet the highlight of the record is most certainly the two-part epic that is “Upwelling”. The latter combines just about every Metal influence one can gather in their nomadic travels across the seven seas to unleash upon the world a tale of heavy Prog philosophies and smooth Jazz interludes.

The production is fantastic; everything sounds as it should, with no excesses or qualitative missteps. The performances of the band too, as I’ve already noted on numerous occasions, are phenomenal; perhaps they themselves are some archaic, immortal creatures from another world who’ve spent centuries honing their craft in the heart of Atlantis.

Overall – “Barton’s Odyssey” is an extraordinary voyage of Homerian substance within Captain Nemo’s element.  With this record ATLANTIS CHRONICLES deliver a testament to passion and creativity, and push the possibilities of both as they lead the listener on an adventure of a lifetime.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. The Odysseus
  2. Otis Barton
  3. Back to Hadatopia
  4. Within the Massive Stream
  5. Upwelling, Pt. 1
  6. Upwelling, Pt. 2
  7. Flight of the Manta
  8. I, Atlas
  9. 50˚S 100˚W
  10. A Modern Sailor's Countless Stories
Lineup:
Alex Houngbo - Guitar & Backing
Sydney Taieb - Drums
Antoine Bibent - Lead Vocals
Jérôme Blazquez - Guitar
Simon Chartier – Bass
Record Label: Apathia Records
     


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