Atlantis: The New Beginning
Review by Arek on February 24, 2016.
Atlantis: The New Beginning is the fifth, long-awaited album of Lost Soul and was released by German label Apostasy Records. Their work is known to me since the Superior Ignotum demo and coincidentally since the year 1995 I follow all they do with saliva on my muzzle. What Chuck Schuldiner was for Death, the same goes for Jacek Grecki and Lost Soul; he is the one that creates this death metal hell. Since the release of the third album Chaostream mix and mastering is taken care of by Wiesławski Brothers and this has not changed on Atlantis either. Artwork, which needs to be mentioned here, was done by Piotr “Szafa” Szafraniec (www.archartdesign.pl) and as a happy owner of a digipak version I need to give it a moment of attention to highlight visual portion of this album. Beginning with an amazing picture that combines the past and the future, which adorns the cover, we're being introduced into the vibe and atmosphere of story of Atlantis. 20-page booklet with lyrics (reading of which I also advise), incorporated into images alternately colored and black and white graphically completes this opus magnum. That’s how a real work of art looks like and I’m already seeing the LP version in my head.
It’s time for a musical feast, which starts with over nine minutes long 'Hypothelemus'. It is preceded by a short invocation denounced by the sounds of the storm. From that point it’s all clean energy which Lost Soul accustomed us to, however, after about 6 minutes into the song there’s a mysterious breakdown - dark and murky. Beginning, middle, and end of this piece is bejeweled with ominous chanting of choir but do not be afraid; Lost Soul is not Therion; choir chants are only here as fine ornaments, and it’s the death metal that reigns supreme. 'Aqueous Ammonia' is the track Apostasy Records uses to promote fifth release of these Poles. No mercy from this point - death metal carnage and technical twisters, micro breakdowns will bring some relief and allow breath catching and then those solos – cherry on top. Fortunately there is no shortage of them on the album. Jacek took care of it and made sure we can enjoy them in every song. In 'Ravines Of Rapture' there is few more slow parts. Drum arrangements and performance are impressive, and backing vocals in the middle are quite the enhancement. 'Unicornis' is kept mid-tempo and it touches lightly on the work of Nile. This song is vocally enriched by Marta Sokołowska (singer and vocal trainer) and guitar wise by Dave Suzuki (presentation is probably not necessary). There’s heaviness, there’s atmosphere, and the ending? , it brought memories of the best achievements of Vital Remains from Icons Of Evil era. 'The Next Generation' is preceded by a short rumble of storm, which accelerates Lost Soul back to their normal speeds. This is probably the most diabolical piece on this disc. Ever watched The Omen? It is so close, it reeks of the Antichrist. 'Vastitas Borealis' intelligently kicks butt with death metal, and drumming (bravo Garofoli) especially double bass rumble on top of dense guitar work show that you can play slowly without losing momentum. Speed reduction occurs in 'Perihelion', but you will not yawn! Heaviness is a huge attribute of this song and the melody line in its final stage adds an extra flash leaving you unsatisfied while it dissipates. Two-minute 'False Testimony' is not Pendolino, it’s the Shinkansen! Shot fired and 'Frozen Volcano' is flying already. Sorry, it’s not flying it fucking kills! It’s when the second minute passes we have a slow down and later comes the demonic choir. The title song 'Atlantis' is the second piece being served by Apostasy Rec. adding to the promotion of the album. They came up with the right choice to pick this song, because it's the most cross-cutting composition. Everything is here; whatever was and whatever will be just like in the proverbial Atlantis.
For each owner of the traditional edition of the fifth release the journey ends with when the latest ticks of 'Atlantis' complete this outstanding musical feast, but not for me. I paid for my happiness and I don't regret it, because what I'm being fed with 'Red Giant', 'Sonidos Del Apocalypsis' and 'Supernovae' is superior. 'Red Giant' begins with a short keyboard prelude and it’s the slowest, pace like and catchy piece. Excellent for live gigs! The following one is a show of virtuosity of the musicians in the well known for Lost Soul pace ending with flamenco segment played by Martin Złotnicki (flamenco guitarist). The ending bit – 'Supernovea' is the accumulating wall of sound varied with masterful guitar work and vocal ornaments. The End.
I feel slightly butchered, but I’ll play it once again. I didn't think that after so much of this technical massacre I’ll still have the desire to play this album once over and yet. What can be done to sum up that well over an hour feast? Should it be a luscious burp, or Nordic style fart indicating successful consumption? I do not know, but we owe a round of applause to those guys. Immerse In Infinity proved Poland’s Lost Soul to be top-class already, but what happened on Atlantis brought them more into galactic league of champions. Artistry, atmosphere, precision and power emanate from this album. This album is a complete package going from the music side of it to a graphic design. I've always found Decapitated and Lost Soul to be extremely different Polish technical death metal giants. Redemptor recently came knocking to this forefront, but only time will tell to who will create and develop this sub genre forward. Though clearly this is an album much slower than previous ones of Lost Soul and it may not satisfy all old school fans at this point I can only recommend to listen to it again. Even if rapture will not occur, it will be more fun to go back to the earlier works of the masters. I love the old sulphur spitting and death metal roaring Lost Soul but also the new one which so perfectly integrated a large dose of atmosphere. I sincerely encourage you to spend a little more money to buy a digipak edition to enjoy as successful of feast as I had and because those 3 additional tracks are well worth it, and visual side I won’t even mention.