Released: 2006, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Atheme One has been formed out of the ashes of the neo-classical ´flower´ Power metallers Virtuocity, which actually has 4 ex-Virtuocity members in the line-up. So, comparisons to some Virtuocity´s past stuff naturally pops up in one´s mind – and therefore I guess we cannot completely avoid comparing Atheme One to Virtuocity due to almost identical line-ups.
However, where Virtuocity was mostly built around basically Jarno Keskinen´s own musical perversions and visions about neo-classical metal, and overall sounding very modern, Antheme One puts definitely more effort to sound like a band effort more than one-man try to reach sort of Malmsteen-type of guitar God –status for oneself. At the same time, however, they try to get rid of this certain status as being just another ´neo-classical metal´ act by venturing musically into those warm and rewarding territories that are more familiar and kind of easier to swallow for the fans of a heavier music who have left their hearts and souls to both ´80s and ´90s periods of metal, swearing an eternal love toward the music they love (ha, now THAT sounded really silly and stupid, didn´t it?).
This self-released, 4-song CD-EP of the band, is obviously mostly meant for promotional purposes only (according to their well-written biography at least), and it already screams almost hysterically for bigger and more positive things ahead of them. I mean, Atheme One sounds as ready as one can sound, being ready to get signed, and record a full-length album. Their music comes across a mixture of traditional and progressive metal with a twist of Power Metal - added with a few so-called ´neo-classical´ elements that luckily play minority´s role on this self-titled EP. All the musicians in the band have won their spurs as masters of their own instruments by years of hard training – and it all shows up in their songs how well they match each other as players. Each individual´s instrumental mastering is flawless, tight but still somehow, in a strange way, relaxed - and extremely professional and passionate from every single aspect. Peter sounds as good as he has always done with whatever band he has sung his vocals for (Conquest, Tarot, Virtuocity, etc.), owning a real powerful, soft and warm tone in his voice, which undoubtedly is also one of the most carrying forces of Athema One. It´s easy to subscribe Pete is one of the better and hotter Heavy Metal vocalists in Finland these days, too. Other than that, when Pete has got such a bunch of highly talented musicians around himself, how they could possibly fail in creating catchy and addictive Heavy Metal music together? The answer is... They simply can not.
Especially the last song, "World of Insanity" is what really caught my attention by having a more mystique and relatively bombastic atmosphere than the rest of 3 songs on this brilliant EP. It´s a mid-paced tune with lots of strong harmonies and melody sections, and which has some similarities to some Memento Mori stuff, so one should know what to expect from this tune.
Let me tell you this, too. There´s a good chance that you´ll hear a lot from Athema One in the near future. Wanna bet your right arm for that? Thought so... ;o)