Atoma
Skylight


4.5
superb

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
April 9th, 2012 | 178 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A rare treat within the realm of atmospheric metal.

I wonder how many people remember the first time they heard a new band or genre that immediately caught their attention. There was probably a certain level of exhilaration that came with that discovery, one that prompted a desire to find as many similar artists/albums as possible. Chances are the highest levels of excitement or surprise came about while still young and unaware of the diversity of music available. As the years wear on, though, that feeling of excitement seems to occur less and less until eventually it starts to seem that there's really nothing exciting or new out there anymore. Becoming a music reviewer where you're expected to analyze and dissect every album while slapping a generic quantifier onto it only seems to lessen the thrill of new music even more. That's why I was surprised when the debut album by Atoma totally caught my attention and even brought back a little bit of that 'thrill' that I hadn't really felt in quite a while. Don't stop reading right there, though, because I'm not trying to imply that Skylight delivers something new and groundbreaking or that it is even going to appeal to everyone in the same way. What I am saying is that Atoma have taken their particular style of atmospheric metal about as close to perfection as I've heard in quite some time.

Skylight begins with an intro that establishes the multifaceted approach the band will use over the course of the album. There's the big atmospheric build-up, waves of keyboards, programmed beats, strong guitar melodies and an abstract vocal delivery. From that point on, Skylight takes the listener on a journey that begins with a prominent doom/post-metal angle complete with big riffs, powerful drums and death growls, but it ends up somewhere totally different. For one, the growls on the second track are the only place they're found. From there, the band are more inclined to use a soaring vocal delivery that is really just another instrument used to contribute to the overall vibe of each song. Also, with each subsequent track, the band moves further away from the initial post-metal/doom foundation and more towards a melody-and-reverb heavy sound more similar to the shoegaze genre. The instrumental sections become longer and more prominent, the keyboards slowly become more ambient in nature, and the vocals become part of the whole instead of a key feature. This eventually leads to the point near the end of the album where the band can play a song such as "Solaris" – which owes more to the early ambient sounds of The Orb than to any metal band – and still have it blend seamlessly with the earlier heavy tracks. This change culminates with the track "Rainmen" which ends up sounding more like Slowdive or My Bloody Valentine than anything else; complete with waves of synth and female vocals.

These days, it's hard for me to be truly impressed with anything that I hear (Anathema being an exception), but that is what Atoma has accomplished. Over the course of its runtime, Skylight takes the listener on a trip that begins with a keyboard-heavy trek through post-metal soundscapes and doom-laden melodies before slowly evolving into a chill, catchy shoegaze style by the time it's over. In between, Skylight impresses with its deliberate transition which finds heavy riffs and gritty vocals slowly replaced with mellow proggy melodies, increasingly ambient usage of keyboards, and a slow build-up of atmospheric passages. So, while Atoma aren't reinventing any genre, they deserve a lot of credit for creating a very solid, compelling work within the realm of atmospheric metal.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
April 9th 2012


16117 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album preview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6KJq3L2Y9U

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

Tyrael
April 9th 2012


20945 Comments


good review, okay album

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2012


15743 Comments


your first paragraph describes the relationship between me and post rock perfectly

greg84
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2012


7431 Comments


At the beginning of last para, replace 'it' with 'it's'. Other than that, great review. I may give this a spin.

Digging: Wildbirds & Peacedrums - Rhythm

CaptainDooRight
April 9th 2012


30239 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

was just listening to this

having a lotta trouble getting dl but did listen to it enough to give rating

can someone help with a decent link shout thx

bloc
April 9th 2012


34998 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I love how dream-like the atmosphere is on this. The sound this band has is unlike anything I've heard before.

Willie, you did real good kid. Real good.

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Superstition

Willie
Moderator
April 10th 2012


16117 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

your first paragraph describes the relationship between me and post rock perfectly
That could pretty much describe my introduction to just about any genre that I grew to love. Suffer by Bad Religion, Too Dark Park by Skinny Puppy, In the Nightside Eclipse by Emperor... etc....

I love how dream-like the atmosphere is on this. The sound this band has is unlike anything I've heard before.

Willie, you did real good kid. Real good.
Ha ha, thanks. If you haven't heard all the albums on my recommended section, you would probably like those too.

bloc
April 10th 2012


34998 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I heard an Anathema album one time and thought it was boring. I tried looking for their new one but couldn't find it. As for the others, I will check them out.

feanaro
April 10th 2012


862 Comments


Intro is really awesome, perfectly describes that feeling. This album also sounds awesome, will definitely be checking it out asap. Great review.

D41V30N
April 10th 2012


949 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. I checked a few tracks of this album on YouTube just now and this sounds absolutely fabulous. Gonna get this one for sure. The keyboards are so good.

Dimor
April 10th 2012


1831 Comments


Review is geewd. Disc is geewd

Wreath
April 10th 2012


85 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think it's a bit weird that this isn't given much attention at all!

Willie
Moderator
April 10th 2012


16117 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The site was down almost all day yesterday, so this review has only really been available since this morning. I'll feature it at some point, too, which should add some extra attention.

KILL
April 10th 2012


72086 Comments


hard

Digging: Steve Hackett - Out of the Tunnel's Mouth

Wreath
April 10th 2012


85 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was actually thinking of the number of views on youtube and stuff like that rather than the review.
:3

bloc
April 10th 2012


34998 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Willie owned

Phideaux
April 10th 2012


1655 Comments


I actually really like this so far. Good review.

Willie
Moderator
April 10th 2012


16117 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was actually thinking of the number of views on youtube and stuff like that rather than the review.
:3
Oh, ha ha. I haven't actually been to the youtube page to see what the video even is, to be honest.

Willie owned
What you should be focused on is the fact that we agreed on an album again. Maybe 2012 will be the end of the world ;)

I actually really like this so far. Good review.
Thanks!

bloc
April 10th 2012


34998 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

What you should be focused on is the fact that we agreed on an album again. Maybe 2012 will be the end of the world ;)

Haha, believe me I couldn't be happier. Hell, I'm even considering 4.5'ing that new Cannibal Corpse album.

Dunpeal
April 11th 2012


3735 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great review man. sorta reminds me of Arwen's "Memories of a Dream" but with better production and atmosphere



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