Aside from having an infallible Metal Detector, the only thing that really qualifies me to review this Lost Soul album is that I’ve visited their home city Wrocław three times. The first two were weekend trips in my mid-20s that I don’t remember very much about except that I ate a lot of pierogis, drank a lot of Żywiec and slept in an apartment inherited by my colleague from his grandmother, full of all her grey and pink and brass stuff, on a bed with a wedge-shaped pillow built into the mattress, and it definitely still smelled like her. The third trip was the one that sounded the most like Atlantis: A New Beginning.
On the third trip, I was traveling from Dresden to Gdańsk for a friend’s wedding, which basically meant crossing all of Poland on a diagonal. I didn’t find out that the layover in Wrocław was going to last half the day until I got there. I was there for the first time by myself, and with all the languages I knew behind me, and with no place to go and no one to know, it didn’t seem like those first two times had happened. I spent hours walking. I spent hours sitting and reading. I wish I could remember what book I had with me. The train station was a very steel place where all of the ceilings were very low, or else very, very high, and all the light was grey or brown. Wrocław is a beautiful city by any measure, but the train was very, very late, and when it took me away, I had the sense not so much of going somewhere as of being suspended in chaos, motion without before or after. Did I mention that Atlantis is a death metal record?
It’s a death metal record that makes it easy to call it that, in its dependably European way. When modern death metal comes from America, and when it’s this good, then it’s like Rivers of Nihil, where it’s good because it breaks the rules, death metal where death is only the beginning. Atlantis, on the other hand, even if it does belong to a genre that’s existed only for a generation, is music which could only be written in a city centuries old. With every beat, you know what’s coming for you: death metal where death is only death, modern or not.
The vanquishing reliability of Atlantis is especially enhanced by some drums, and by how much they matter. The whole thing could be triggered for all I know, but even if it is, Asmodeus Draco Dux (look, everyone else in the band has a normal Polish name, it’s not up to me) is earning every cent of his paycheck in whatever currency they use in hell. This guy is so articulate that even the blast beats sound musical. The hits come in swathes, walls of typhoon rain, but damn if every hail stone isn’t right on time.
Not coincidentally, the rest of it sounds like death, right on time. From what I’ve read, there is a narrative here, which is about something something Alistair Crowley something something. I also caught something about suns blowing up, just from listening. Even when the union-made walls of unassailable sound make it hard to tell what’s going on, though, you hear a story happening. It’s too structured for you not to. Atlantis emblemizes both the proficiency and the loyalty of the best in European death metal. Maybe that loyalty is to or with Wagner, in some weird, narrative way. I don’t know. What I do know is that this is a band that will never let you down. As long as you don’t mind them crushing your civilization.
Pick up Atlantis: The New Beginning on Bandcamp by clicking here.
If words are not enough to earn your trust, the whole album was streaming at No Clean Singing, last time I checked.