Atlas:Empire ‘To The Astronaut…’

Atlas:Empire 'To The Astronaut...' (self-release)
Artwork by Charlie Wagers & Adam Baker for Three Bears Design

1. At The Edge of the Ravine,

2.What Do We Say To The God of Death?,

3. …I Was Expecting Ghosts, 4. Who Watches The Watchmen? 

Drums engineered by Sam McIntosh @ 45 A-side Recordings
Produced, mixed & mastered by Chris Gordon

Steven Gillies – vocals & guitar , Jamie Sturt – vocals, guitar, synth, programming , Dave Stephen – bass, vocals, engineering 
Paul McArthur – drums , Jonny Gormley – additional drum programming

Guest vocals on “Who watches the Watchmen?” by David J Campbell 

 For me this review is kind of the final piece of a trilogy. The Ocean Fracture were one of the first bands I ever saw from my home town in my long gone youth, and though that band may be gone three great ones have been born from the fracturing, if you’ll excuse the pun, of The Ocean Fracture: Hunt/Gather, Salo and Atlas:Empire.

While Hunt/Gather and Salo explore the heavier and angular ends of the early 00′s post-hardcore and alternative music scenes that spawned The Ocean Fracture, Atlas: Empire see more post-rock and electronic influences incorporated into their sound. It leads their debut EP to sound incredibly contemporary. It’s clearly a product of its time, whether you see that as a bad thing or not is pretty subjective, and probably liable to the trials of time.

The EP is full of shuffling electronic beats, glassy clean guitars and engaging multiple vocals, all of which sit nicely alongside the subtle dynamic twists that never quite go into the full on aggression of hardcore. ‘What Do We Say to the God of Death?’ is easily the most accessible track on the record because of its more energetic and aggressive approach. There’s enough angst and intensity running throughout the record to convince you that the band really mean it, which is to their credit. It’s all to easy for bands using the quiet-loud dynamic as the man basis for their song writing to disguise any lack of intent with walls of reverb and lashings of delay.

In essence, if you grew up on the angry material of the early oo’s post-hardcore bands and have since developed a taste for quieter or more experimental music as well, then chances are you’re going to find a lot to enjoy in this EP. Atlas:Empire aren’t breaking ground like many of the bands that influenced them, but they’re taking components of all the shit you love and building it together in an awfully shiny and pretty fashion. Which at the end of the day, is kind of what we’re all after in the end anyway.

Click here to ‘like’ Atlas:Empire on Facebook to be kept up to date on future shows and releases.

‘To The Astronaut…’ is available now via the Atlas:Empire Bandcamp. Click here to be taken to the site.

C.McMillan 

 

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