Atlantis - New Frontiers

Year of Release: 2000
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 25:59:00

Atlantis. This mythical island has inspired the name for no fewer than four progressive music bands over the years (including this one). This in addition to numerous songs both in title and subject, as well as the foundation for one writer's Arthurian epic (Steven R. Lawhead's series of novels posit Atlantis as the beginning point for some of the characters). Enter into this vast library of references Brazilian progressive metal band Atlantis and their 2000 debut New Frontiers.

The band got their start in 1994 as a self-described heavy/thrash quintet. But, upon becoming a sextet in 1996 -- Luiz Siren on vocals, Alexandre Macedo and Michel Lerner on guitars, Andrej Braga on bass, Roberto Schilling on keyboards and the since departed Victor Ferreira on drums (it's now Felipe Calani, though it's Ferreira you'll hear here) ? the band toned down their sound to a progressive metal mix. In that mix you will find the expected Dream Theater elements, and there are tracks where, while good, Atlantis sound like many a prog metal band. In fact, on "We Are Not Alone" Siren sounds a great deal like Geoff Tate. Just as keyboards have presets, so it seems do vocalists, as like LaBrie, Tate, and few others, their style is often imitated ? though I do find Siren to be a very good vocalist, great range. Siren's vocals aren't 100% spot on, but 95% is just right enough.

But, Atlantis' sound is a little more diverse than the above suggests as there are a few riffs in "New Frontiers" that sound like Journey's "Escape" and the parpy keys that begin "Find Your Identity," ironically, also sound a bit Jonathan Cain-ish. Interestingly, otherwise this song sounds a bit like Pallas with a slightly harder edge ? and that band had a song called "Atlantis," for what it's worth. They rock hard and seem to have all the right moves and chops ? the guitar leads sound appropriately Romeo-ish when they should.

Don't get me wrong, I hear a lot of promise in Atlantis. In fact, a great deal of promise. It is a very good debut, that only needs a little tweaking from a production point of view. It's clear and crisp, so nothing wrong there. It could stand right up next to some of the high-end recording jobs But to me the keys are pitched a bit too much toward the shrill. Maybe I'm particularly sensitive to this, I don't know. But it just gives this a bit of coldness. Otherwise, I see prog metal fans going ga-ga over this (and looking at some of the other reviews this is getting, they are).

I like the acoustic feel that opens the melodic "Living In A Bottle," which, if they were following an AOR trajectory, would catapult them to the top. Haven't really picked a favourite here and I like them all. Each of the tracks could be their calling card to "bigger and better things" ? which aren't always "better," of course. But being picked up by InsideOut, for example? yes, they'd fit right in. "Snowrider" (about snowboarders, I think) is another solid track.

Being a 25-minute EP, this flies right by. I had it playing at work and it seemed that no sooner had I pressed play (in theory, I had "repeat all" set), the end of track five had arrived. Looking forward to more? Yes, I am.

Subsequently, this band changed their name to Atlantida -ed.

Find Your Identity (6:31) / Snowrider (3:21) / Living In A Bottle (5:29) / New Frontiers (6:55) / We Are Not Alone (4:23)

Luis Siren ? vocals
Michael Lerner ? guitars
Alexandre Macedo ? guitars
Andrej Braga ? bass
Roberto Schilling ? keyboards
Victor Ferreira ? drums

New Frontiers (2000)
Painted Reality (2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin BR

Added: March 24th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1107
Language: english


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