Whorion - Fall of Atlas - (8.5/10)
Published on January 29, 2014
The release of Omega Arcane was the dividing line Shade Empire needed so desperately to cross to actually become a formidable entity within symphonic metal and Fleshgod Apocalypse crossed a similar line as well with Agony. Quite curiously, then, Whorion has jumped somewhere in the middle of all this with their debut EP, Fall of Atlas, and rather handily, topples both these giants with a technical showcase of fretwork that this type of extreme metal has been sorely lacking as of late.
As soon as the EP begins it’s obvious that Whorion has a lot of bite to its bark and doesn’t blow flutes and violins down your ears just because they sound pretty. While the symphonic side does sound menacing as hell, it wouldn’t mean much without riffs that are threefold more menacing and a thundering vocal performance that could tear a rift in the heavens. Whorion’s sound is indeed meant to devastate, and devastate it does with an erratic, borderline Behemoth style of riffing that is embellished with all kinds of fancy sweeping and picking techniques, not to mention song structuring that seems a bit more progressive in momentum and flair, perhaps not too dissimilar from Beyond Creation.
There is also a great deal of integration between the guitars and orchestration, so the two components never feel compartmentalized. Every time I listen to the harp and guitar interplay on “Vortex of the Dead,” complete with quavering strings and forboding horns, I get a chill down my spine. “The Great Mass Suicide” as well showcases that holistic approach when the guitars tone down slightly in technicality to allow the synths and spoken vocals to climax in their own spotlight.
Speaking of spotlights, it’s not hard to imagine Whorion sharing, if not stealing, it from some of the big named players of today. Their approach is, I feel, more holistic and dynamic, and they bring enough technicality into the picture to make it all the more impressive. At only three tracks long, though (one track is a synth instrumental), the guys have a bit more legwork to do in catching up, but with this much energy time doesn’t seem to be much of an issue.