Atmosfear - Atmosfear

Year of Release: 1997
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 20:00:00

Out of the blue comes this melodic / progressive metal gem. When discs like this [3 track EP] come into my life, it excites me and saddens me at the same time. The excitement comes from the incredible, well thought out, creative melodic / prog metal music that only few bands can produce of this caliber. It's like discovering gold, hitting a small lottery, or the joy of knowing that you've got something rare and wonderful. Enter the sadness. How bands like this never get recognized, signed, or make a full length disc just makes the whole experience anti-climatic. The fact that it's only a 20-minute, 3-song EP puts the icing on the cake and has to be the biggest frustration of all.

Hailing from Germany, this is a 5-piece band consisting of vocals, guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards... glorious, atmospheric, heavenly sounding keyboards I might add. I'm starting to get the feeling that there is a breed of undicovered bands out in the world, doing something very interesting: they are taking the long lost art of melodic metal from the 80s, adding in progressive tendencies, and giving it a fresh, modern sound. It's so unfair and repetetive to call these bands Dream Theater clones, because I really don't think that the bands are trying to capture that particular sound or style. It sounds exactly like I said, it's incredibly catchy, modernized, melodic metal with progressive tendencies. Bands like this are starting to crop up all over the place; Vanden Plas, Centaur, Gone, Atmosfear, Crises, and a host of others.

The band is driven by a guitar / keyboard combination that works in unison to create this polished sound. If you remember Ivanhoe's early discs, you will remember the guitar / keyboard style ensemble that drove that music, yet the two managed to remain individual in their own right. This is what is happening with Atmosfear. You have the sometimes Tad Morose-like guitar sounds and riffs, and then you have the dreamy, atmospheric keyboards always at the ready to back that sound. The songs are catchy as hell, and you'll find yourself tapping your foot or banging your head throughout each song. The songs aren't proggy enough to make you break stride, yet the songs are proggy enough to make prog fans very happy. This is something like the first Vanden Plas disc, Colour Temple attempts to do. It's melodic, yet injected with bits of prog to accent the style. Atmosfear is a bit more proggy than that disc, but has the same intent. The singer is great. He sounds more like an AOR singer than he does a metal singer, but with the beautiful music going on around him, his voice adds even more beauty. Sporting very little accent, almost unnoticeable, Oliver Wulff sounds like he should be singing on a Journey, Lemur Voice, Sting, or Survivor disc. Yes, he is that pleasant sounding.

Throw in one of the best indy productions I've heard since Reading Zero or Aztec Jade, and you have one hell of a superb sounding disc. This sound is slick, polished and precisely recorded. Everything just screams out at you from the speakers, and it is punchy as hell. It appears that they did everything themselves, and then hire a sound guy to do the recording, same as Reading Zero or Aztec Jade did.

All I can say is that it's a crying shame that it's a hard disc to find, and that few people know about this band. From what I've heard, they are in the process of recording a full disc, but when, where, how is a mystery.

Where do bands like this hide?
Why hasn't anyone signed them ?
Why don't bands who create such great music answer their e-mail ?

Some of the mystery questions I wish someone could answer someday ... in the meantime, this is one hell of a melodic / prog metal disc, even though it's only 20 minutes long, hit the REPEAT button and let it fly for an hour. The music is so good you won't even know it played through 3 times.

Infanticide / Courage Of Despair / A Summertime's Dream

Olaf Sorgenfrei - drums
Burkhart Heberle - bass
Boris Stepanow - guitar
Oliver Wulff - vocals
Stephan Kruse - piano

Atmosfear (1997)
Inside The Atmosphere (2003)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: July 25th 1999
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website:
Hits: 1209
Language: english


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