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Towards Atlantis Lights – When The Ashes Devoured The Sun Award winner

Towards Atlantis Lights
When The Ashes Devoured The Sun
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 27 June 2021, 3:12 AM

TOWARDS ATLANTIS LIGHTS is an international Atmospheric Death/Doom band who formed in 2017.  “When The Ashes Devoured The Sun,” is their second full length album. The doom band’s latest album not only avoids the sophomore slump by releasing an album on par with their debut but they actually surpass it.  This should come as no surprise considering the pedigree of the members involved  as they come from bands like APHONIC THRENODY (who have also released an amazing album this year), VOID OF SILENCE, and PANTHEIST.

Whereas their debut focused on two songs giving the listener the bulk of the material, with two shorter songs in between, “When The Ashes Devoured The Sun,” spreads the track list out more.  This album has six tracks and is longer by about five minutes or so.  This works a lot better for me.  Having more songs that are fifteen minutes or less each makes the album flow much better than their debut.  The production and mixing is better this time around too.  The clean vocals don’t sound as hollow, having lost a lot of the echo.  The death growls are louder and more up front in the mix as well.

The way the atmosphere presents itself with the heavier, doom metal elements has also improved.  The keyboards and various non-metal sounds are better integrated into the experience and sound much more purposeful and natural. In addition, the songs are much, much heavier too.  “When The Ashes Devoured The Sun,” feels like the next logical step of the band’s sound in every way.

The album begins with “Alpha & Omega” and it is just an intro but one that is very well done.  I have problems with intros that waste my time and seem pointless but this one is worth the nearly three minute run time as it fits the mood and style of the album. It is a heavy piece of metal orchestration that weaves in the band’s trademark mood and dark melodic moments.

 “The Minoan Tragedy,” opens with riffs that are both powerful and tragic.  The drums capture this mood as well and it is obvious the band’s synergy is stronger than before.  The bass is strong as an oak and twice as dense and keeps the band’s stark mood going even when the melodies change the air around it.  The spoken word is a nice touch and I feel it helps heighten the mood. The death growls are guttural to the tenth degree and go along with the bass nicely to help keep a strong low end going. The lead guitar provides much of the melodic atmosphere and ancient feel to the songs and I appreciate how that just didn’t fall to the keyboards only.  At the 12:32 mark, a moving and mysterious piece of tonal movement fills the air as the metal stops for a minute but returns all the more potent.

To The Forgotten Tribes,” begins with clean notes that fall like drops of rain to the ground.  The drums are light, working their way around these tones while building the mood as well.  The bass drops and the tension begins to grow.  However, the band hangs back for a bit and lets the keyboards through before the distortion finally arrives.  I like how this song, and the album in general, uses every available second to takes its time growing the songs—there is no need to rush and the band truly grasps this concept.

Throughout the song the guitar and bass are like a heavy storm, that sits over the top of everything and just casts a long black shadow, changing the landscape and atmosphere for all.  But the lead guitar and keys still shine their way through the density and that’s where the band pulls together its elements for a larger than life approach. The pace changes for “The Bull And The Serpent,” to chunkier, speedier riffs and more harrowing keys.  Even the vocals bark out with more energy but the band settles back into their doomed world but this time adds more death metal oriented riffing. Other than the intro, this is the shortest song on the album but its more direct approach provides a nice break and halfway point for this journey.  The clean vocals are given a lot of time here too and the song is better for it. A lot of the guitar, especially towards the end, echoes the feel of 90’s Gothic doom.

Mad Prophetess,” pushes the keys and guitar together quite nicely.  Each of them have contrasting styles but still work off each other for a song thick with darkness yet a touch of the ancient and mystical permeating through the song. Some of the best riffs on the album are in this song and that 90’s Gothic doom feel from the previous song comes back in full force but matches the whole of the song.  The movement  around the seven minute mark is truly fantastic, the death growls and riffs bringing pure doom.  Later an ambient passage and soaring melodic leads help add more touches to make the song that much more special.

The final track is “Pelasgian Tales,” and the bass is the highlight here and leads the song to the varying directions it takes.  The beginning is decidedly more melodic but the riffs that come after threaten to shake it all part—the guitar tone on this song is quite deep and never lets up, making this song one of the darkest on the album. TOWARDS ATLANTIS LIGHTS’ “When The Ashes Devoured The Sun,” is an album that improves upon their past in every way and makes it clear they will continue to be an important force in the world of doom metal. Highly recommended, especially if you are a fan of the members other works.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Alpha and Omega
2. The Minoan Tragedy
3. To the Forgotten Tribes
4. The Bull and the Serpent
5. Mad Prophetess
6. Pelasgian Tales
Riccardo Veronese - Bass
Ivano Olivieri - Drums
Ivan Zara - Guitars
Kostas Panagiotou - Vocals, Keyboards
Record Label: Melancholic Realm Productions


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Edited 17 September 2021

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