Atoma
Skylight


3.5
great

Review

by Wreath USER (6 Reviews)
March 28th, 2012 | 32 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Slumber’s chimera.

In 2004 there was a sudden rumble in the death/doom metal scene. But Slumber had been around for almost half a decade before surfacing the behemoth which was to become one of the most praised albums in the death/doom metal underground scene. Fallout was not without its flaws but stood proudly nevertheless beside classics like Katatonia’s Brave Murdey Day and Rapture’s Futile – showcasing masterfully executed doom/death at its very finest which together with its combo of atmospheric, dreamlike qualities and great songwriting made up for what it lacked in variety and originality. Accompanied by an assortment of keyboard effects, orchestrations and choirs on standout tracks like Conflict, A Wanderer’s Star and Rapture, the music although at times disputably one-dimensional added soul and character in otherwise quite bland soundscapes and structure. But that's what you get with bleak doom/death metal which you won't mind being served if you're already into that kind of music.

In the beginning of 2011 after several years of fans patiently waiting for a follow up to the doom metal sensation; news of the band ridding themselves of their previous genre by applying Slumber to the true meaning of its name surfaced on the internet and that the band that once was were working on an entirely new project with a brand new approach, dubbed Atoma. Now the eight year old wait has finally come to an end and the phoenix decorating the album cover is ever so symbolic as Skylight at last ascends to the surface of the earth. I’m sure we can both feel it rumbling at this very moment.

As I and probably many with me predicted; Skylight is not unlike its twin. In fact, what essentially separates them is nothing but a fine, thin line of mere genre specifications. Where Fallout was bleak and distressing, Skylight shines with ethereal, warm and adventurous qualities once again offering a diverse selection of keyboard samples and overall more varied song structure. But the core of the songs themselves is definitely akin to the structure as that on Fallout. This time they’re just expanding that sound, dropping the death metal vocal on all but one track (leaving a void for Kalantarpour’s beautiful clean vocals to fill), slightly altering the structure and sound production almost to the point where it could easily be confused with shoegaze and even bringing in some electronic elements.
But I've read quite a lot about this album online and I get the impression that some people tend to blow things out of proportion, seemingly regarding the effort on Skylight as one of the most exciting and innovative in the metal scene for years to which I’m quite willing to disagree with. I've also read reviews online giving it quite silly and specious genre specifications such as “space rock” and “apocalyptic rock/metal” when it in actuality just sounds like pure post metal to me with, perhaps, a slight progressive approach. I suppose it doesn’t really matter but I’d definitely like to compare this to fairly recently emerged post metal acts such as Les Discrets and Alcest.

Musically, the album is in truth mostly devoid of secrets - if you’ve heard the first two tracks you can basically kind of predict where the rest of the album is going based on what you’ve just heard. What you’re getting though is strong melodies and passages that beautifully compliment each other, collectively taking the album to a place where ultimately not a lot of bands choose to go ad it very much relies on hooks within the melodies, something in which it all but fails. The samples and synth effect are tastefully and strategically placed throughout and highlights such as the title track, Highway, Hole In The Sky and Cloud Nine makes for a truly great and consistent album. But again not unlike Fallout it’s sometimes slightly one-dimensional within its own characteristics.

After listening to the album a couple of times I’m left a bit confounded still by the fact that Slumber and Atoma are actually two separate entities. Because in my opinion, Skylight would absolutely have made a worthy follow up to Fallout and the transition wouldn’t be awkward at all. Slumber may be sleeping but I believe it’s wide awake within Atoma – the core of the album is still rooted in its twin and their similarities are many. Though it goes without saying it stands proudly on its own and whether it sounds like Fallout or not, this is a truly great album with mere minor flaws that are ultimately shaded by the adventurous new characteristics which in the end makes for an exciting, honest and very enjoyable listening experience.



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user ratings (182)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Trey Spencer STAFF (4.5)
A rare treat within the realm of atmospheric metal....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Wreath
March 27th 2012


85 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sooo00ooo yeah, the album’s finally officially out since today in Sweden, Finland and Spain. (link to
the annoucement - http://legacy.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?
mode=Article&newsitemID=168578)

I’ve been waiting for this one for a very long time! :D

CaptainDooRight
March 27th 2012


29130 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i think i might check this

Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

Willie
Moderator
March 27th 2012


15969 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I never heard Slumber and didn't even know that this band had any connection to them... guess I should check them out.

But I've read quite a lot about this album online and I get the impression that some people tend to blow things out of proportion, seemingly regarding the effort on Skylight as one of the most exciting and innovative in the metal scene for years to which I’m quite willing to disagree with.
It is exciting and slightly innovatiing too. It's like the best parts of Tiamat's A Deeper Kind of Slumber mixed with a solid At the Soundawn or Mar De Grises (Streams Inwards album) vibe along with a strong undercurrent of ambient electronics and a lot of Shoegaze in the synths, reverb and production.

when it in actuality just sounds like pure post metal to me with
Definitely not pure post metal, IMO.

Musically, the album is in truth mostly devoid of secrets - if you’ve heard the first two tracks you can basically kind of predict where the rest of the album is going based on what you’ve just heard.
Strongly disagree. The album starts with that electronics/post metal blend before diving into the first and only song with death vocals... the next song kind of pulls from Tiamat, but by the time the album is almost done it's fallen completely into the shoegaze vibe (peaking with Rainmen), had an Orb-ish ambient interlude and just about everything in between while reaching that point.

Digging: Necropoli - I

Wreath
March 28th 2012


85 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yes, I hereby order anybody reading this guilty of not having listened to Slumber to go check their
album out. :3

I think it's fair to label them as post metal sans more unnecessary subgenres that doesn't
essentially define their approach on music. What is post metal? Well, it's a term most commonly
referred to as experimentation that's applied to the genre of its foundation. That includes use of
ambient sections, synthesizers and other various instruments other than the essential guitar, bass
and drums and a structure most often relying in buildups, crescendos, dynamics and repeated themes
which quite often results in a new number of subgenres what could be included in the genre itself
but it's not a necessity because their character is already in the respective genre. Therefore all
post metal is bound to be exciting and somewhat innovative but I never questioned their creativity,
I simply expressed dislike and (particularly) confusion for people freaking out on something that
I think is obvious in the first place.

I've never been very fond of stacking subgenres on top of each other to describe a sound, though - I
want a short term specifying the approach. Guess it's all subjective :3


Willie
Moderator
March 28th 2012


15969 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If you want a good term for it, use 'progressive metal' and be done with it. It fits there better than 'post metal'.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
March 28th 2012


8818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i had no idea slumber split up and made these guys, fallout was a great album, i'll check this out :]

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

Willie
Moderator
March 28th 2012


15969 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's awesome.

Tyrannic
March 28th 2012


3262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fucking FINALLY

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
March 28th 2012


8818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

shame i can't find it anywhere, hopefully it'll pop up soon! :]

Willie
Moderator
March 28th 2012


15969 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well it isn't universally released until the 3rd of April. It's just a few places in the EU right now.

Wreath
March 28th 2012


85 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm not quite agreeing with mr moderator. :3

Anyway, this is an awesome album fakkencheckitoutassoonasyoucan.

Tyrannic
March 28th 2012


3262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The samples are outrageously cool

Willie
Moderator
March 28th 2012


15969 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

There will be a much more glowing, gushing review of it early next week when it is released worldwide. ;)

I'm not quite agreeing with mr moderator. :3
We can disagree, that's what the site is for. Anyway, this is my album of the year (so far, obviously) -- followed by Cannibal Corpse and Anneke van Giersbergen.

Wreath
March 28th 2012


85 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Of course, no matter how you look at it this album is both very exciting and even slightly
innovative. Looking forward to your review; I enjoy reviews with enthusiasm. It kind of rubs off
sometimes so we'll see if you change my mind!

Scoot
April 5th 2012


17749 Comments


the two songs i've heard were both solid

Dimor
April 6th 2012


1758 Comments


Damn, im really enjoying this atm. Just listened to the 2-track preview and they both sound great. Im definitely getting this

Tyrannic
April 6th 2012


3262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

these guys are such boners on facebook

Willie
Moderator
April 6th 2012


15969 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

How so?

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
April 6th 2012


8818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is good :]

AsoTamaki
April 6th 2012


2525 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is pretty good. Definitely reminds me of Alcest, but I enjoy this a bit more. Felt like these guys included more substance and variety.

"Rainmen" is really dull though. Shoegaze 101. It's a shame that it's by far the longest track.



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