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Atlas - Death & Fear Award winner

Death & Fear
by Sammy M at 23 April 2017, 9:04 PM

Admittedly, going in to this review, I had never heard of ATLAS before, and when I heard their music I was amazed that I had never been shown them before. Then I saw their social media page and the number of followers. I truly can not believe that these guys don’t have a massive following. There’s nothing obscure, grating, or unpleasant about their music that could possibly put people off, but somehow they just aren’t known. Yet.

“Death & Fear” is the debut album from this little known band out of Karlstad, Sweden, and if there is any justice in this world, it is the start of something glorious. Somehow blending one part BLACK SABBATH, with one part ALICE IN CHAINS, and a bit of QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE thrown in for good measure, ATLAS are both groovy and sludgy, heavy and melodic, dirty and pretty. It’s what rock n roll should be these days. Right from the opening song “Wermland” I was completely hooked, and now am having serious trouble turning this album off. While each song does have a fairly similar sound, it doesn’t get dull or repetitive at any point. They each bring something new and special along from the driving opening song, to the stand out hit “Covered In Gold” which brought THEM CROOKED VULTURES to mind. It has a fantastic catchy melody, without even slightly veering into anything that could be considered pop. With how dirty and heavy the riffs are, blending it with that catchy melody makes it stand out even more. “A Waltz” slows things down considerably, as the name might suggest, and makes great use of the technical prowess of the guitarist. It originally lulls you into thinking it’s going to be a purely clean song before bringing back the dirty in sections. If any one song could show off the versatility of a band, it’s most definitely this song. The harmonies are hauntingly beautiful, the musicianship is absolutely top notch, and the songwriting really shines through especially when comparing it with the style of the other songs. The final song “Death & Fear” brings the doom, with a deep, slow, and heavy sound that suddenly takes the previously mentioned BLACK SABBATH feels, and brings in a little TYPE O NEGATIVE. It still has that great ATLAS groove to it, but has a significantly more doom metal feel than the previous tracks. It’s a fitting end to a great album.

The only real problem with “Death & Fear” is that it’s too short. As a “debut album” it clearly feels more like an EP. Honestly I’m ok with this. More will come, I’m sure. Until then, the best thing to do to fix the problem of a short album is to hit that repeat button. That solves it.

Well done ATLAS. Well done.

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

4 Star Rating



1. Wermland
2. Black Smoke
3. Dog With Two Bones
4. Covered In Gold
5. A Waltz
6. Death & Fear

Claes Josefsson
Torsten Gabrielsson
Alexander Huss
Kalle Persson


Record Label: Independent


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Edited 09 June 2023

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