Atomos - Resurrection (2nd review)
Reviewer: Mujtaba M Badr - 2012-07-05
Back in August 2010, a local band called Atomos released an album titled “Resurrection” and it was obvious that our site was going to review for it sooner or later, and that is exactly what happened. It was one of the most critical and harsh reviews I have ever read in my life. The review itself was published with a notice reading: “Important Notice: This review is user submitted and not necessarily represents JorZine” , on the Facebook JorZine fan page, a storm of backlashes took place, then the band made an online reply regarding the review, something that does not happen on a usual basis.
The first time I read the review I was said: “Come on man, give these guys a break, they are from the local scene, not the international scene. And this is their debut album dude*, can't you remember how our beloved band BILOCATE developed from the debut album to the second one? “ [Yeah! I know you will say: HUGE!]
*the band announced in the online reply, to downsize the criticism, that this release is a “demo album”, but we know the difference between a demo release and when somebody makes a release party for an album. The band should have stuck to what they believed in the first place: “we made an ALBUM, and we proud of it.”
The reason behind this second review is because I believe the first one was too technical*; panning, mixing and such things and terms, and I was like: “What the fuck is this dude is talking about?!”. OK! It’s nice to know that, but not every metal-head will know what all that means. Most of the metal-heads just care about the music itself, and this something that I would describe as one's own personnel experience with the music that one doesn't have in any another genre, The Connection.
*[later I knew the reason, I met Witch_Hunter and I knew that he is a musician who lives in Europe, and had his own band out there. I know, that makes a lot of sense now]
Although there was a section for track by track review, I believe that a second review from a regular fan from the street will be fairer towards the band whom had tired to deliver us this album and towards the fans of the local metal releases.
Let me start, from the point of packaging and the cover artwork. DUDE! Where is Iron Maiden in that!!!!!! The cover artwork just fits the title, RESURCTION : A MAN BEING RESURCTED FROM THE GROUND…Obvious! And for the rest of the points about the packaging ,well, it is a self produced CD in Jordan, I didn’t expect that much from it in the first place. Instead, I considered the booklet idea as quite a nice touch. Of course, I closed about the grammatical errors, LOADS OF THEM. Yes it could be done better. But I liked it, lovely bloody-red-themed artwork with some nice photos in the background and semiprofessional band photos. Later I wished that the semiprofessional approach continued in other instances.
Now, lets go to the main point; THE MUSIC ITSELF...
Before going any deeper, let me clear a point about Atomos' genre. Because that makes a huge difference when evaluating an album, for example: if you use Power metal standards when reviewing Darkthrone's Transilvanian Hunger, you will find it to be a piece of crap while in reality it is a Black Metal masterpiece. So, the band's MySpace profile and JorZine's page read: Brutal Death, on the other hand, the booklet mentions the band's influences/covered songs by Sepultura, Amon Amarth, Death, Bolt Thrower and Six Feet Under. Is there are any Brutal DM in this list? So, expecting a Nile-like album is a mistake from the first place, this album is more a straight forward Death/Thrash metal, even Groove.
In general it is an enjoyable record, of course if you neglect all the technical flaws that had been mentioned in the previous review. Although it has a lot of straight forward influence by the old school Thrash/Death (Mainly Slayer and Sepultura) we still have a couple of good solos, kick ass riffs, nice intros and even some good drums in some tracks (I love those in The Wake of Restless Land), and yeah I forget to mention the bass, you hear it sometimes but it is obscured almost in the entire record, but hasn't that become a trend even with the big names around the world, the bass: victim of the loudness war.
The first half is really promising; they change tempo from song to song, intros, new ideas with each song. But after Freedom the band seems to have lost innovation, for example: Holy Land 's opening riff is almost identical to opening riff in the beginning of the second track. The listener even starts to feel that the songs structure is going to fall apart, and that every band member is playing on his own. But they finish the album with nice touch , an instrumental piece, although with a so-apparent rip of Metallica’s intro of The Day that Never Comes, I hope it is just a coincidence.
The quality is awful compared to the international releases, predictable! But even if we compare it to the local scene the band committed unforgivable mistakes; some tracks sound higher and the mixing is bad. The problem is not with the “rough” sound, we got used to that from local releases, but common sense says: “when you make an album, all the songs should be on the same level of mixing and production”.
Lyrically, we have some nice ideas and themes, but again the English problem is evident. One feels that many parts of lyrics present a lack of cohesiveness. Despite that I enjoyed some lyrics like those in Freedom:
I Hear my voice fallen down in hole
I heal my scratches but the scar never go ..”
“The good and the evil this time are the same...
But all the time the nature is the blamed”
The bottom line, we had a really nice try from a local band to add something new to the scene, I even believe this release is going to push some other bands to start thinking of releasing physical records instead of the online ones.
With all the flaws, we still need to give the band the credit for trying, although I guess the local Jordanian scene should be passed this level by now. And I will not be regretful for paying the 5 JD’s to support a local band that doesn’t have the various options of funding like the bands everywhere else and especially if they replied to all the criticism by coming back to kick our asses with another record, something I believe they can do if they paid more attention to the point me and my friend Witch_Hunter had mentioned. And yeah, WORK ON YOUR ENGLISH SKILLS, A LOT!
And one last note to all local metal musician, work on your home mixing/mastering skills, there are many international acts, in front line comes Periphery, that produce/record their albums at home yet deliver awesome quality.