Reviewed: June 2022
Released: May 2022, Napalm Records
Reviewer: Buddy H
In the world of metal, one of the greatest things that can happen is discovering a band who completely blows you away. Over the Easter weekend this year, I traveled a few hours to see my metal idols, Firewind. There were a couple of bands opening for them I had never heard of. One of the bands was Visions Of Atlantis. After their stunning 45-minute set, my jaw was frozen in full drop position! I am downright amazed and ashamed that I had no idea this band existed. The following day, I immediately bought their entire catalogue! Just a few short weeks later, with barely enough time to fully listen to my new collection, I added their latest offering, PIRATES, to my library.
If, like me, you had never heard Visions Of Atlantis before, you are in for a spectacular epic symphonic metal journey! One word best describes the music contained on PIRATES… majestic! The compositions are multi-layered, multi-textured masterpieces. All too often, in the symphonic metal subgenre, unnecessary mindless instrument noodling significantly tarnishes an otherwise amazing release. On PIRATES, each song dictates exactly what is needed at all times and everyone in the band delivers masterfully. The bass, drums, and guitars provided by Herbert Glos, Thomas Caser, and Christian Douscha respectively, are flawless! They build the perfect musical platform for one of the finest dual vocal performances I have ever heard. The voices of Clementine Delauney and Michele Guaitoli are mesmerizing, and they blend together effortlessly. The results are simply otherworldly!
Beautiful orchestral arrangements and masterful use of dynamics throughout this entire collection create a breathtaking atmosphere rarely achieved in metal music. Melody is the foundation these tunes are built upon, and the album flows naturally and logically from track to track like scenes from a movie. There are moments of sheer headbanging glory complete with anthemic hook laden sing-along choruses followed by sense-tingling melancholic moody passages. Picking favorite individual songs is next to impossible. Each track can absolutely stand on its own, but this album is best appreciated when you can give it your full undivided attention. For listeners seeking instant gratification, begin with “Melancholy Angel,” “Master The Hurricane,” “Clocks” and “Legion Of The Seas.”
Music is a very personal experience. Each year, a release seemingly comes from out of nowhere and touches me deeply. This year, Visions Of Atlantis have delivered that album. Each song is a journey in and of itself, but each one also contributes to the overall fantastic, majestic voyage. Pick this album up and support these gifted artists. Give this the attention it so greatly deserves and escape, if only for a little while, to a fantasy land that only Visions Of Atlantis can create.