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Souls Of Diotima - The Sorceress Reveals - Atlantis

Souls Of Diotima
The Sorceress Reveals - Atlantis
by Gabriel Zimmerman at 18 January 2017, 9:29 PM

I must admit, I have always been a sucker for a good story, especially one that tells itself or one that you must uncover. When it comes to concept albums then, or thematic albums in general, it is safe to say I can be a massive sucker for them. Of course, an album simply having a well written story in a concept album is no excuse if the music itself isn’t good, but thankfully SOULS OF DIOTIMA is far beyond good. Hailing from Sassari, Italy, and  helping to enforce the notion that Italy has become a country to watch for upcoming Metal acts might I add, “The Sorceress Reveals – Atlantis” is a sort of mix of Power Metal and Progressive Metal with heavy symphonic elements throughout their music, providing a blissful melody. “The Sorceress Reveals – Atlantis” is their third studio album following 2011’s “Maitri” and 2012’s “What Remains of the Day”, and it is an ambitious album being over 1 hour and 10 minutes long as well as being a concept album. The story itself is of the perspective of a mother telling her daughter of a long forgotten land of Atlantis, ruled by a mighty king Atlas, with the songs being a series of stories and adventures leading to the fall of Atlantis. That is, without going into too much detail as listening to the story is part of the joy of listening to the album and to spoil it would be a travesty on my part.

Discounting the opening interlude, the album starts with “The Land of the Wind”, it begins with a slow symphonic buildup that leads to a decent initial verse, however it is not the strongest. It is once you get to the choruses, bridge, and solo that you can see the talent that SOULS OF DIOTIMA has…amazing riffs, beautiful blends of Metal and Symphonic elements, a technical and well-structured solo, beautiful and melodic symphonies that can easily stand alone, and Claudia Barsi’s amazing and soaring vocals to top it all off, “The Land of the Wind” easily shows itself to be a top song on the album. “Fate and Destiny” continues on this, with impressive technical skills, even stronger and more apparent symphonic elements, and a general lighter tune that regales of tales of noble adventures and the legend of the mighty king Atlas. It’s an overall great song but what stands out most for me is the symphonic elements, as the poeticism in them is what sets this song apart for me. “Battle of Giants” is definitely the most somber song on the album, slow throughout with what feels like an attempt to convey a feeling of sadness or stoicism during the verses with a contrasting battle tune during the verses that speak of marching off to war. It’s a good song overall, with good guitar work (though less technical) with strong vocals. It is a bit of an oddity in that it is the slower verses that stand out more than the battle tune oriented choruses, but still a good song.

“Tears of Fury” is one of the most technically impressive songs on the album, beginning with a foreboding opening telling tales of evils and corruption. It also fittingly is the first song with extensive harsh vocals, which blend well with the clean vocals. Throughout the song, there is impressive guitar work as well as even more technical symphonic elements played in the same tunes as the guitar, enhancing the already great sound. On “Zeus Unleashed,” it begins with a tone of coming judgement and tells the tale of Atlas’ defeat and rebellion. One thing worth noting is that at the end of the interlude of “Zeus Unleashed”, before the actual song itself, there is an arbitrary heavy electronic bit, following the lines of dubstep. Personally, while it is short, to me it feels really out of place and random, as well as it feels to detract from the song. When it comes to the verses, Claudia sings in what can be described as a more childish tone of voice (for lack of a better word), reminiscent of a tantrum. If this is intentional, while it thematically makes sense it feels like it also detracts from the song. However, thankfully in the choruses Claudia Barsi returns to her soaring vocals which fit seemingly perfectly. The song feels a bit discordant though, as the verses are faster and more technical but the tune of them runs against the more melodic tune of the chorus in a way that doesn’t seem to mesh well whenever I listen. Right after “Zeus Unleashed” comes “Atlas Condemned,” which while “Zeus Unleashed” felt lacking in a few regards for me personally, “Atlas Condemned” doesn’t.

Its slower but melodic symphonic elements and yet again impressive technical capabilities that are especially seen in the guitar solo help this song stick out. While I do like the song, I have a bit of a gripe that it feels a bit tired. The general feeling of the song doesn’t feel like it stands out well enough. My other gripe is Claudia Barsi’s attempt to try to be a bit more guttural and confrontational at the end. It comes off as a weak attempt personally, or like it could have been better done. These are much more personal and overall it is a good song that is worth listening to. The album closes with “Our Atlantis,” and I must say that this song definitely stands out from the other songs in many regards and definitely follows the common trend of a strong closing song for a concept album. It begins with a more folkish opening, continues with slower verses that put the most emphasis on the piano sound as opposed to the other instruments, contains slower choruses more oriented towards having a stronger emotional impact than technical sound, with a bridge that is also far more folkish than the rest of the album. The closing of the song is far lighter and more profound, ending the song strong besides a very well done simple acoustic closing. The album truly closes as it opens, with a narrative interlude with a slow and somber instrumental that, once I finished the album, realized that both the closing an opening reflect the entire tune and mood of the album in a superb way, and it really adds to the effect of an already great album in my eyes.

Overall, to put it simply this was an amazing album with a great story. While in a couple places it may have faltered, they are few and far between. I must especially give props to the technical skill of the entire band, the amazing symphonies, and the strong vocal capabilities of Claudia Barsi. I would highly recommend this album to anyone who enjoys symphonic metal albums, or anyone who enjoys a sort of mix of power and progressive metal. This was a great album with an amazing concept that is told well through the songs with songs that I will definitely be listening to again when I have the chance. I can only say that “The Sorceress Reveals – Atlantis” is a gem that I am glad to have listened to and whom I feel strongly carry on the idea that Italy is a hot country for rising metal bands.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Sorceress Reveals - Atlantis (Interlude)
2. The Land Of The Wind
3. Stories, Songs, and Celebrations
4. Divine Love
5. Fate and Destiny
6. Gold and New Horizons
7. The Battle Of Giants
8. Tears Of Fury
9. Zeus Unleashed
10. Atlas Condemned
11. Our Atlantis
12. The Sorceress Reveals (Prologue)
Lineup:
Claudia Barsi - Lead Vocals
Connie Yerbic - Spoken Word Vocals, Flute
Giorgio Pinna - Drums
Salvatore Moretta - Guitar
Gianmaria Puledda - Guitar
Antonio Doro - Bass, Vocals
Andrea Pinna - Keyboards
Record Label: Rockshots Records
     


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Edited 18 November 2019
 

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