From deep within the bowels of the UK’s Witch County, emerges a new horror in GHOSTS OF ATLANTIS. Channelling the macabre darkness that both DEVILMENT and CRADLE OF FILTH laid down before them, harmoniously intertwined with both history and myth. They have released their debut album 18.104.22.168 upon the world.
What is the significance of the title 22.214.171.124? Is it a map reference to a location of the fabled Atlantis? Is it a date relating to a bygone age (26th March 2000 BC perhaps?), a code to decipher, or am I looking into it too much? The band have stated that they are not going to give away the significance but encourage listeners to dig into the album and understand its significance. What Ghosts will you discover?
The Third Pillar has a symphonic introduction not dissimilar to DIMMU BORGIR intertwined with touches of SEPTIC FLESH, this is a blistering opener giving you a taste of what to expect throughout the album. Detailing of what the “Ghosts” will impart to all who survive the journey to the Third Pillar and the means to channel them.
Halls of Lemuria furthers the quest for arcane knowledge, this track features spoken narratives and a harmonious blend of clean and harsh vocals. Phil Primmer is on form, delivering strong visuals of the Atlanteans discovering the power to summon the Ghosts and change the tides of battle, “the halls of the dwellers we seek, the martyrs awaken from sleep.”
False Prophet goes from a gentle introduction straight into a full-on symphonic attack with heavy vocals to accompany it. This amidst other tracks on the album does have a flavour of EX DEO. What’s unique about this piece is that rather than follow the usual path of a chorus to finish the track, we’re given a third verse and then an ethereal orchestral outro. Totally changing the dynamic and keeping you enthralled ready for the continuation of the album.
The Curse Of Man brings no rest to the wicked as one might anticipate. The introduction feels tranquil but then a primal roar changes the shape as we are given a brutal change in pace. There are some fine percussion pieces included here courtesy of Rob Garner. Colin Parks (also of DEVILMENT) makes full use of his clean vocals throughout too. The narrative section of this piece does remind me of the band HELL too.
When Tridents Fail heavily utilises a wide array of styles and sub-genre that is simply a masterclass. A true amalgamation of symphonic, gothic, and extreme metal with the cumulative experience of all members involved. The diverse aspects work wonders through the guitar prowess of both Colin Parks and Dex Kezierski.
Poseidon’s Bow the introduction sounds like one could be travelling back in time thought a vortex to witness the events held in store. It has elements of SCAR SYMMETRY transitioning between clean and harsh vocals and harmonising both aspects in the chorus too. There are glorious symphonic compositions harnessed alongside spoken narratives. There’s a lot included within, even with it being the shortest piece on the album.
Gardens of Athena from a choral introduction and weeping guitars, we are then thrown into the journey of reaching Elysium. A realm of eternal rest where one transcends to upon death: “The heavens will embrace the souls and lead them all to peace.”
The Lost Compass details the anger of the Gods for tempering with things that should not be: “storms start to show the deities’ rage” Whilst the album overall covers the theme of Greek mythology this track could quite easily have referenced H P Lovecraft: “Putting rest to the secrets that the elders spoke, the cries to us you sing, are falling on deaf ears”. As an album finale this is triumphant in its delivery and (for now) brings this chapter to a close.
This is an incredible debut album that is worth multiple playthroughs. With the complexity and superior musicianship showcased here it’s easily a candidate for album of the year.
Words: Martin White
126.96.36.199 is out now.
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