Here we go with a new section on the Metalunderdogs Blog. I'd like to write down my thoughts on new releases that have been recently put out. If you have a own band or project that you think might fit in well here please do drop me a line or two here in the comments section or please see my profile for my E-Mail adress. I do appreciate new suggestions very much!
Today we start out with the actual album from Atropos Project called "Equator". It's a instrumental Progmetal one man project that is centered around John Quarles. He has written, performed, recorded, and produced all the stuff that can be heard on the album. On some of the tracks he has additional help with guitars, keyboards, Pedal steel, dobro and slide guitars from other musicians. John is mostly a self-taught musician who started out with drums, later going over to guitars and even having taken some lessons on the piano.
As for the structure of the review: I will first give a short summary of the album along with a embedded player so for all of you who dislike reading text from screens you can shortly go over and have a quick check on the content. Afterwards I will write down a track by track review showing you my thoughts on the single tracks.
Short Summary / Player / Download and CD Purchase Links
No doubt it's a great album. If you're into Progmetal and like instrumental songs I suggest you to check this out. I know no one like's to be compared to something but to give you a idea on what this is all about imagine the instrumental tracks from bands like Dream Theater, Vanden Plas, Threshold and the like along with a more straight forward songwriting. The songs are very progressive and do show the beauty and diversification of this musical style but always remain followable and don't loose thereselves into too complicated structures. They always give you the chance to take a breathe after a "hard attack" so your emotions and thoughts can sort freshly giving you new energy to go for the next push-on forward.
The album can be streamed for free so it's no hidden catch. Take the time and check out "F.A.C." or "Deadfall" for a very quick glance on what's this band is all about. Take some time to give the blasting "Spiralling" a chance as well as the slower tracks "A Curious Trip" and "Drudgery".
The album can be purchased as a download for only 8 dollar at the BANDCAMP SITE. There you can quickly get the album in high quality FLAC (File losless Audio Converter) format as well as in high MP3 format. John has also put together a beautifull CD version of the album so if you prefer to buy the album as a classic Compact disc, you can do so also via the BANDCAMP SITE.
For all those of you who do prefer itunes and Amazon, just click on the site names to go to the direct download pages. Moreover CD baby is one more chance to get a copy of the album.
If you want to follow Atropos Project, you can do so on facebook or check out the band's website for further links and info.
Update 2014/11/03: The prices have been reduced! The download is now available for 4 Dollar as well as the Compact Disc that goes out for the same price but you have to add shipping and handling for the physical copy of course.
Track by track Review:
Before reading: don't let your enjoyment be spoiled. I will talk about some of the details of each track. Discovering music on you own might be much more fun. If you don't want to know before listening I suggest you to let the music do the talking instead of reading this.
The slow intro track takes you away from reality to the start of a musical journey. Set up with clear guitars in a very own style it plays a bit around in the hight notes to take over to the first full song of the album.
A open and direct straight forward song taking you inside of the album. Shortly after the opening sequence a first solo part with a very own styled solo section. Very rhytmic track, lot's of variations in tempo and soft change over's. It show's also a very own trademark of Atropos Project: very own style and interpretation that give's the straight arrangement a remarkable own note.
The hardest track of the album in my eyes. Raw, direct and unfiltered first riff with dirtly crash cymbals. After the hard entrance a softer part with slower rhythm and piano playing awaids the listener. The permanent constant playing of the guitar while the piano does a little duell with the guitars take's it back to the harder intro riff. Finally a release at the end with a very straight forward riff. Short silence. Then a short hard riff. The piano take's to the end of this nearly ten minute long song. A jamming session in the end repeating the piano theme slightly from the middle section. A open end fading out of a great track.
A song that opens up while a ghostly-feeling riff that gives you chills. It's followed up by a more complex Rhythm Section, that leads into another part underlayed with Keyboards. Sort of style I like very much. After some jamming finally a blast killer riff at the end that free's the compressed energy the previous parts did build up.
"A Curious Trip"Sort of very special track. It starts very slow and relaxed with some Piano. You feel lost in deep thoughts when listening to this. The end offers a very, very complex instrumentation while the bass keeps repearting a montone riff. The end comes very abrupt and leaves you behind with a surprise (a good one).
This one show's a lot of jazz elements with lot's of variations. The riff is very strong and pushes you hard in the forward direction. A lot of solo part's in here. In the end part a riff that open's up the song like a flower and shows several styles of this riff and the melody.
We start into the song with a slow section playing clean guitars that is seldom to find these days. Warmly welcomed by me. The rhythm builds a bridge to the main part of the song. Guitars playing at a high tone on this one. Powerfull guitars with a catchy riff and several repeatings then - silence. After a short break another power riff with a very straight ending.
Again a clear intro with a touch of sadness hanging in the air. The jam session that follow's leads into a good power riffing. The rhythm is very crawling and has lots of modern elements in there. The end takes you back to the starting intro melody and the end is soft and let's you slowly fade away.
A cool drum section opening up to clear guitars. Once more we go with a power riff while the drums keep being very dominating on this track. The bridge is a drum fill going over to a new pattern opening up to a piano section alonng with fitting beats. Some more jazzy elements and a small jam section go over to the final part of the album. After a short power riffing arrangement the CD comes to a end with a piano section putting a very decent ending to a strong first release of a project we hopefully will hear more of in the future.