Review by Krys on May 30, 2001.
Bal-Sagoth saga continues… and I don’t know what to say more. Their fifth album didn’t amazed me in any way but it also didn’t have anything that could make me puke. So, what I’m trying to say is that music on "Atlantis Ascendant" hasn’t really changed from anything they’ve done in the past and represents just another solid release from this unique band.
I have to admit that I was never their biggest fan, but I could certainly endorse their genius and innovation and even if for many years they followed almost exactly this same path, you have to acknowledge their originality and determination. I don’t think the metal scene has another band that could be compared to Bal-Sagoth and that in itself is something I can’t say about most of the groups out there. But let’s get to the music cause originality doesn’t mean anything if it’s followed by a lack of talent or music skills. I can assure you that it’s not the case here. Bal-Sagoth plays battle-war-symphonic-black metal which is full of astonished arrangements and atmospheric keyboards. I’m not sure if this is a bad production or the musicians’ decision, but if they could spice up, juice, flat sounding guitars and add some depth to the empty drums this album could become much more energetic and powerful... but I guess that’s a matter of personal taste.
Their interpretation of a fantasy world with a black-metal background might not appeal to everyone but since there are plans to make an illustrated book or even a video game based on Bal-Sagoth’s story then you should definitely be checking it out too. It’s worth it.
Since "Atlantis Ascendant" is the second release of their second trilogy I don’t expect them to change their style on the next release. However, after this six-piece series is done I hope and expect that Bal-Sagoth dares to take some chances and start experimenting or otherwise they might risk losing their originality.
Bottom Line: If you want to widen you musical horizon, definitely something you should hear.
Rating: 7 out of 10