Review Summary: Dancing about architecture.
Atomos is deceptive. Basically, it's the type of music that makes you focused, abandoning your sense of surroundings. You could easily lose yourself, staring at that one point on the wall for what seems like eons as though a lightbulb will suddenly go off, but it never does. A Winged Victory For The Sullen’s latest effort wants you to dwell on things. While likely to evoke multiple emotions should you let it, Atomos could just as easily leave you emotionless.
That seems like a fairly ‘safe’ claim, but it's somewhat controversial. That is, to claim an album is as likely to strike an emotional chord as it is to sever it. My stance on music almost always stems from whatever connection I make with the album in question. Were you to question me on whatever album I was engulfed in at the time, I would likely avoid the majority of the technical aspects, going off on whatever tangent I saw fit to express the after-effect I was brooding over. Long after the music is over, don’t we remember how it made us feel
, rather than instrumental specifics" While Atomos warrants praise for whatever inner effect that might occur should you allow it, you will be humbled. As I sit with the piano resonating in my ear, I face somewhat of a dilemma.
On one hand, there is a strong connection to be made. Opener “Atomos I” will see you indifferent to your minor concerns, while shifting focus to whatever predominant issue exists. “Atomos III” demonstrates an acute use of volume, be it loud or soft, ascending or descending. This painstaking level of control is what prevents Atomos
from growing stagnant, as the dynamic is constantly changing. Whereas their previous effort saw A Winged Victory for the Sullen capitalize on their moments of melodic brilliance, their latest work is portrayed more realistically in how these moments develop, but ultimately pass by. Beauty fades. “Atomos VI” exemplifies this, as the piano cuts in and out tactfully, operating under the guise of comfort while ultimately fleeting in nature. Atomos
will make you yearn for something to latch onto.
On the other hand, I see this connection offers little more than a false promise - though I'd blame myself. While expecting Atomos
to whisk me away, I go nowhere. This should
be detrimental, especially given a reliance on ambient music to take you to another place or what-have-you, but it isn’t. Atomos
grounds you, and makes you mull over your very real problems. As you become fixated, the music encroaches on your thoughts, stifling them. Just as you are about to reach higher emotional ground, the music grabs you by your heels and bounds past, only to block your advance and claim paramount. This is not meant to confuse you, or urge you to ponder some pseudo-intellectual babble (as it likely comes across as). These are sentences attempting to illuminate that which they cannot. Atomos sheds very little light also. No, Atomos wants you to dwell on things. It is the soundtrack for the long walk in the evening, indifferent to your surroundings while wallowing in doubt, never reaching a satisfying destination. However, as the final violin meets silence, it all becomes clear. This
is my destination, and there’s nowhere I'd rather be - lost in beautiful music.