Atoma is quite an odd band. Although all of the members of this band were in former melodeath band Slumber, don’t expect anything like what you got from that band here. The best way to describe the way this band sounds is if Rhapsody of Fire had something awful happen to them and they got depressed and watched sci-fi movies to get over it. In short: serious metal with a modern film score twist, with electronic soundscapes and orchestras to boot.
To begin, the concept of the album is about a group of astronauts trying to find a new home for mankind as Earth becomes inhospitable. Needless to say, the music is incredibly epic to match a concept such as this. The intro for this album, “AtomA”, sets the stage for what you should expect: something like that would not be out of place in a movie trailer, and it’s as if the song itself is a trailer as to what to expect – something that would make perfect sense in something that sounds as if it came out of a film score. The next song, “Skylight”, opens with something that sounds like an emergency call of sorts. The drums kick in. For the next two songs, the music is relentless, emotive, and makes you really feel the urgency of needing to find a place for mankind to inhabit – and fast. They know when to slow down and bring you back down to Earth (no pun intended). Songs like “Highway” and “Bermuda Riviera” help you relax – though not too much, especially in the former, with a rocking chorus to keep you enthralled. I especially love the keyboards on “Resonance” – an excellent counterpoint to the soundscapes the other members are writing.
That said, I cannot understand the track “Solaris”. I feel it really breaks up the tone of the album, and although it’s a good track in its own right, its inclusion in the album is confusing. If you’re listening to this album as a whole, this track plays and it’s just kind of out of place. Sure the keyboards are there, but the almost trip-hop feel of it is a head-scratcher.
Overall, although the album occasionally buckles underneath the weight of its own concept and music, this is an excellent debut album from this band. The fact that three guys wrote this is nothing short of mind-boggling. Some bands with dozens of members wouldn’t be able to write something this dense. The amount of detail in this record is great. I can only imagine what will happen next, especially since Solution 45/ex-Scar Symmetry wunderkind Christian Alvestam is now in the band.
3. Hole in the Sky
5. Bermuda Riveira
9. Saturn and I
10. Cloud Nine