Through the ages

Atlantis – Mistress of Ghosts

Stream – ‘Inhale the sun’


Post rock and ambient: not a new combination but always an interesting mix to listen to. Atlantis goes for some post rock while letting the electronica elements seep into the mix slowly but surely in their new album Mistress of Ghosts.

Right off the bat, ‘White Russians’ is the opening note in the album. It’s more of a drone song (with a panning effect that makes it a bit scary) that makes a nice opening song to the album.

Whereas you’d get the inkling that there’s a defined dynamic by them, Atlantis pulls out a nice ace for the following three songs (‘Mata Hari’s Kiss’, ‘She loves all’, ‘Mascara’ ) and it’s the addition of piano to their sound. It goes so well with the ambient/lounge stuff and when adding the guitar stuff to the mix, well, it really grows and goes to some cool places. ‘She loves all’ (9 minutes of joy), a song that really mixes everything, including a very ethereal voice (sounding a little shoegazey) with a very defined guitar hook, is  a real gem.

Adding to that note of variety is also the fact that some songs are more based on looped beats and synths. ‘Mistress’ feels like a very long intro to a major piece. This major piece is called ‘Inhale the sun’ starting with an electronic drum loop drone, again laying a foundation for the rest of the instruments to do their tricks. It’s a layered song that builds and builds on drones until the wall of noise (shoegaze-style) hits you. Then it cycles back. It’s like a musical ocean, with the tide rocking back and forth with the waxing and waning of the Moon.

‘Sweet venom’ works in a similar discipline as ‘Mistress’, it’s also a series of drum beats and synth lines that are setting the stage. Think of them as segues (or links, if you’re more inclined to think of music as a theatrical show) between different parts of the album. ‘To catch a voyeur’ starts on a very chilled note until going for pandemonium.

‘Give me one more hour’ is a very sexy (!) album closer, with a constant bass line that is sort of buried in the mixing, but it is still there. The guitar riffs are pretty nifty too, mixed on different channels, giving you a very surrounding experience (a mixing trick that is cool, but ruined if one of your earbuds gets knackered). The calm, cool beginning of the song is just a snare set up to catch you with some proper distortion. It’s a long song (over 6 minutes) but lays the stage for the band’s signature sound.

If anything, well, the songs are very long, so if your patience is more on the other side of the scale, you might need to skip this. But if you like your music layered and dreamy with a few genuinely melancholic moments (all about the piano in ‘Mascara’), Atlantis’ Mistress of Ghosts is a good choice.

—Sam

Links

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About the author: Utrecht represent!

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