MOUNT ATLAS - Poseidon

March 21, 2023, 11 months ago

(Cause Of Deaf)

Mark Gromen

Rating: 8.0

review heavy metal mount atlas

MOUNT ATLAS - Poseidon

Sophomore full-length from an intriguing German outfit. Around since 2015, during the pandemic they contributed a couple of tracks to stoner compilations, and Encyclopedia Metallum characterizes the music as such, but that's a misnomer. While there are occasional elements, the sound is too lively and diverse, thanks in part, to the copious use of synth/Hammond organ (although diminished, overall, on this platter). Perhaps people are confused by the vintage ‘70s instrumentation/vibe and presume the music also entails the "extra-curricular" activities of that era? Two of the ten songs clock in under three minutes and none exceed five.

Leading off is "Down To Earth", coming across like a guitar/synth driven rendition of The Cult's "She Sells Sanctuary": slightly trippy, but still heavy. There's some old school sci-fi movie dialog within, adding to the nostalgia/off-kilter feel. Always keeping the listener on their toes, none of the compositions reside 100% comfortably within any limiting genre definition. Most of the titles are mid-tempo, with the staccato keyboard bounce somewhere between vintage Doors and 90s underground darlings Masters Of Reality (see "Magic Potion"). 

"Throne Of Gold" is the most frenetic inclusion, firmly in the metal camp, even with that infectious synth undercurrent. During the break, two different sets of keys trade leads with the guitar tandem. Get an uptempo Grand Magnus sensation here. "Alien Sunrise" slows things down, initially, then settles into a poppy, radio friendly ditty (especially the chorus). Slightly distorted, repetitious run of keys begins a bouncy "The Captain". This one sees the keyboards dominate, albeit not in a flashy, show-off way. Equal parts blues/jazz lounge act and classic rock (again, come the ivories-enhanced chorus), "I'll Be Your Guide" has both keys and guitar breaks, as well as some cowbell, from the drummer! 

Much like its name, "Open Sea" returns to rollicking. Brooding and belabored, the meandering titular cut employs another, short old movie clip. Killer groove guitar solo within the aforementioned "Magic Potion". Another slice of what they do so well. Dynamics range from almost whispers, to nearly bombastic, on "Prehistoric", mixing the fuzzy notes with fan friendly (read: sing-along) melodies, before ending abruptly. Speaking of conclusions, the bottom end rumbling "Elysium" closes the album, but not without a characteristic flourish of both guitar and synth.

Check your expectations and enter the mind-expanding realm of Mount Atlas, if you dare.

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