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Coronatus – Atmosphere

by Thomas Kumke at 19 December 2021, 10:20 PM

CORONATUS hailing from Stuttgart, Germany are one of the pioneers in symphonic Metal with being in the business for more than 20 years. As the band has a strong affinity to nature themes, the 10th full-length album is a concept around specific nature-related topics such as atmospheric phenomena. CORONATUS play symphonic Metal with bombastic orchestral arrangements and with Folk Metal influence. “Atmosphere” was produced by Markus Stock and Mats Kurth and it was mixed and mastered at Klangschmiede Studio E at Mellichstadt, Germany by Markus Stock. The album has a length of more than 43 minutes and it was released via German label Massacre Records which has a number of Death, Black, and Power Metal bands among their roster.

CORONATUS have always been a very active band by having now 10 albums under their belt. Despite this, their career has been rocked by a large number of band member changes, in particular on the so critical vocalist front. More than a dozen vocalists have been fronting the band and this did not lead to any sort of continuity. In 2021, Leni Eitrich (mezzo-soprano) and Moni Francis (clean Rock vocals), CORONATUS open a new vocalist chapter on the new album.

The new chapter starts with a piano-driven orchestral intro which nicely sets up the scene and the atmosphere for the album. Those who are ready to dive deep into the CORONATUS waters, will feel the conceptual piece around natural phenomena already. It transitions into “Justice In The Sky” which is a very good indicator in terms of the sound on the album: powerful and catchy guitar riffs often played at mid-tempo supported by the melodies of the violin, bass and drums that gives a solid rhythm section, and the vocals of both ladies being very contrasting, yet so harmonic. The orchestral arrangements are here kept in the background mainly, although more dominant towards the end of the track. “To The Gods Of Wind Sun” is a bit faster and the riffing is a bit tighter. Most notable are the strong Folk Metal inspired melodies which take the centre stage.

Firedance” sounds a bit different. It comes with catchy riffing, melodies, and choruses. There was a bit of a surprise element to me when the break started, which instantly reminded me on “Judgement (& Punishment)” by a certain very popular Ukrainian Progressive Metal band. “Firedance” is a neat and tidy song and I would not be surprised, if it will get released as single sooner or later. CORONATUS mix it up very well and “The Distance” is a measured, ballad-esque song with awesome melodies and both vocalists are at their very best, especially in the way how they complement each other. Highlight of the track is beside the beautiful voice of Leni Eitrich the very contributing lead guitar solo.

At some point, comparisons are inevitable and the first name that comes to mind is NIGHTWISH. CORONATUS fuels this comparison with “Williwaw (A Musical Tribute To Nightwish)” which is a very well composed song and similarities with the Finnish symphonic Metal band is desired. The same can be said about “Time Of The Raven” which is catchier than “Williwaw” in particular regarding the riffing, the rhythm, and the melodies. Both tracks were released as video and the YouTube link to “Time Of The Raven” is given below.

The Swarm” and “Keeper Of Souls” are among the faster songs on the album with powerful guitar riffing. “The Swarm” is mainly driven by the violin and the Folk influence. The instruments are the leading parts here with the vocals not being dominant. The sound of “Keeper Of Souls” is darker and heavier compared to the rest of the album, with guitars, bass, and drums leading the charge. It is a circle pit song and fans can look forward to the live version of it. The closing song of the album is the big stage for Moni Francis who has an outstanding performance on “Big City Life”, which is a Blues with some Soul and Jazz influences. The album comes in several versions and there is a bonus CD with all the songs in an instrumental version.

The 10th album of CORONATUS is surely a good one and this is mainly down to both new vocalists. Leni Eitrich and Moni Francis make the difference, they both have their individual highlights on separate tracks, but also the way they harmonize with each other is impressive. In addition, the violin contribution of Kristina Jülich was second to none and gave the album a backbone and an extra dimension. “Atmosphere” also included a couple of songs that could not quite keep up with the other tracks. The album is well produced. Fans of symphonic Metal can look forward to a good symphonic Metal album, and if CORONATUS can keep their both new vocalists, there will be more promising things to come from them.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Justice In The Sky
3. To The Gods Of Wind Sun
4. Firedance
5. The Distance
6. Williwaw (A Musical Tribue To Nightwish)
7. Time Of The Raven
8. The Swarm
9. Keeper Of Souls
10. Big City Life
Leni Eitrich – Vocals
Moni Francis – Vocals
Axel Grill – Guitars
Matts Kurth ­ Drums
Mark Knaus – Bass
Kristina Jülich – Violin
Record Label: Massacre Records


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