Death & Fear review by Atlas

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  • Released: Nov 1, 2016
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (2 votes)
Atlas: Death & Fear

Sound — 9
Vocals, while already good on their first album, have improved on "Death & Fear." The singer definitely has a strong voice of his own and sometimes I think he sounds a bit like Glenn Danzig (oddly enough I think it's when his Swedish accent comes through a bit). These guys are straight stoner rock and have a really tight polished sound, with the guitars bouncing off each other perfectly. This is straight rock with driving intensity and well rounded playing by every member. Recording quality sounds great and a bit more consistent than their first outing.

Lyrics — 9
There's no life changing lyrics to point to but they're well written, cohesive and fit the music like a glove. Lead vocals fit perfectly in the mix and flow with the instrumentation nicely, all while conveying the appropriate emotion through the mix of elements. The songs range from driving metal to a catchy poppy rock song, to a bluesy ballad and back again all without losing their unique identity as a band, and rocking the fuck out along the way. I can't promise anyone's going to have a deep connection to the words being sung but they are very good and drive the music as if another instrument in the mix at times.

Overall Impression — 9
The only reason I don't rate this 10 is because I'd reserve 10 for the all time great albums but damn is this album, and band great. While definitely at home in the doom/stoner realm there's a straight rock sensibility there that will appeal to those who aren't fond of the genre as well. The title track, which reminds me of Little sister from QoTSA (not in sound but in catchy almost pop rock appeal) is an upbeat melodious foot stomper that could win most people over. No reason in my mind this track couldn't do well on rock stations even with a non doom/stoner audience. It even clocks in at a just over 3 minutes, something you don't find much within this type of rock.

The rest of the album gets more into their genre style with riding out grooves longer and some genuine stoner vibes. The lead guitar player is quite capable but you can feel, and appreciate, the restraint and control he has. There're sections of songs where he just squeals in with the perfect little fill and backs off letting the rhythm continue driving the song that stands out to me.

The only negative about the album is that it's not longer! It boasts 6 great songs and clocks in at a measly half hour full-length (but 5-6 song albums are the norm in the genre).

If it was lost/stolen I would rebuy immediately without a second thought. I only discovered these guys 2 months ago and anytime I listen to music at least one of their songs get played.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I made one mistake with this review and it's that I had a complete brain fart on the title! For some reason I keep thinking it's called Covered In Gold, presumably because it's the strongest track imo. So besides the title error I also refer to the "title track" incorrectly.