All I have to say is never say never. Back in 2001 when I interviewed Alex and company, he told me that they closed one chapter in their history which meant ended their Death Metal days and now progressed into the Electro/Industrial/Pop/Goth phase. Guess what? We all win here past, present and future fans of the bands music. For a while there, I was worried about what this new CD was going to sound like. After "Gemini" I thought that the band would continue in the Industrial stage.
When I heard that the new CD was titled "Atlantis", I thought I would continue in that vein. Boy, was I ever wrong! "Reich Of Phenomena" starts out majestic and symphonic for a few seconds before the blast beats from hell provided from Martin kick in. Break out the aspirin bottle because this track is guaranteed to make your head rattle. Alex Death metal growls from the abyss are a welcomed return to the fold here. This track is complex because the symphonic sounds still manage to make their way into all of the chaos. There are even some opera singers in here singing in the choruses. Despite it being brutal, there is some melody amass all this cacophony. It's a track to be heard for sure. The Death Metal onslaught continues with "Superior Race." It's not as intense as the opener, but it's still going to rattle your cage.
The guitars are absolutely ruthless on this CD. I think it's thanks to returning member Thosten Bauer. Things are brought down a couple of notches with KORN like riffs on "Gods Of Nations." It still packs a punch, but the dynamics are broadened here with some symphonic like atmospheres, vocal harmonies during the chorus and cleaner vocals. The tight musicianship continues to grow with "Ichor." The guitar solo is absolutely sick and wicked. The band slows it down a bit with the single "Cold Black Days." This is something that could have fit on the "Gemini" release. This track is more commercial sounding with a pop aesthetic is fused with plenty of keyboards. It's catchy and melodic, but there is a bit of bite here. The guitars manage to have some crunch and stay away from being wimpy because it's so easy here to add on the cheese, but they avoid that. The vocals are clean as a bell, but there is a little gruff to them and that suits me fine.
This CD is very dynamic and offers a lot to the listener. It's heavily textured and well composed. You can tell that the band spent a lot of time working on this and it was well worth the wait. Sure, there is a lot of Death Metal here, but it's so much more. You just have to listen to the many layers of sound to get it. The lyrics are well thought out as well and when you get the CD, you can read all about it. Also with the CD, you get a video for "Cold Black Days" and more detailed info about teach song and the history of Atlantis. This is a must have. (Online November 3, 2004)