Live review: Atlas : Empire (EP launch), Halo Tora, Atreides at ABC, 12/8/13

942639_556930111030422_1093431447_nTonight the ABC could not be playing host to two anymore varied and contrasting artists, while the main floor upstairs is evolving into a full on ‘Love Shack’ featuring pop rock legends The B-52s, downstairs is a more sombre and angsty affair featuring bands who provide soundtracks more akin to smashing a granny on a Saturday afternoon in Asda as you battle it out for the last kitchen roll, just me? Okay.

Entering the building at just after eight, I am too late to catch the apparently impressive The Unpeople, word from the bar is these are ones to watch; which is exactly the best way to describe Atreides who are absolutely full of themselves tonight.

Vocalist Neil throws himself to the left, to the right, before peddling out a besmirching of growls and pants that reverberate around the entire room, causing an audio grown of satisfaction in the process.

If Atreides are violent and profusely intoxicated with embattled hardcore riffs then Halo Tora in comparison offer a far more refined and deliberated approach, owing more to ambient grooves in the vein of Oceansize and Mogwai.

Most of the quintets tracks centre around the dual vocals offered by Christopher Alexander and Ian McCall, for the most part, it certainly works, with their sound bridging into a beautifully indulged harmonic thickness that would be bereft without interchanging layered vocals, most noticeable on the fantastic ‘Needles’ where this formula is executed to beautifully enticing results.

By the time headliners Atlas : Empire head on to close proceedings tonight, there is already a graced elegance of excitement.

Everyone has came tonight in anticipation for the launch of the bands new EP Somnus and therefore it is to no surprise that the highlights and frankly at times sublime moments come from the showcased tracks taken from the EP.

Having a three pronged attack on guitar can often be a complicated and tricky business, but there is a diligence and patience which ensures there are no such problems here.

Every riff and drum beat is maligned in a coating of emotively polished yet grippingly emulsified rhythms, working hand in hand to create an almost clockwork perfect production line of splendid music.

Opening track from Somnus ‘Keep this in the Shadows’ lends itself to some beautifully melodic guitar work before sauntering into a effervescent climax complete with a dispersed and highly commendable vocal lead.

‘Mitchy Valentino Sleeps with the Fishes’ on the other hand highlights just how diverse and intriguing Somnus is as a product, with a far more hard hitting take on melody, honing both a strong chorus and an incredibly high standard of musicianship.

It is clear that Atlas : Empire have put an awful lot of thought and effort into Somnus, creating a record that is anchored to a plethora of different inspirations and landscapes, ultimately, though and perhaps most crucially – these tracks turn into complete monsters in a live setting.

Words: Chris Kelman


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