Welcome to instalment number twenty-five of my 2020 ‘Album of the Year Top 30 countdown’. The last pick before I enter the final five for the year. Are you getting excited? I know that I certainly am, and I know the final five placings. For those of you who don’t know, the excitement must be nearing fever pitch…or not!
As always, please excuse the usual reminder to anyone new to this series, to check out the links at the bottom of the post to find out who made the cut, from 30 down to 7, as well as my lists from previous years too – I’d hate for any newcomers to miss out on all the fun!
But now, here’s the next pick in this year’s series…
Ghosts Of Atlantis
Black Lion Records
Release Date: 26 March 2021
Score Of Much Metal: 95%
You’d be forgiven for thinking that with Cradle Of Filth releasing a cracking new album this year, that Dani and co. would have bagged the accolade of the best album from my home county of Suffolk. But no, you’d be wrong. The accolade instead goes to a brand new band by the name of Ghosts Of Atlantis who, like me, call Suffolk home. Poor sods!
Actually, I have no sympathy at all because I’ve since learnt that the band has within its ranks fans of both West Ham and the Arse…for a Spurs fan, this isn’t great news and I was sorely tempted to doctor my review and give then 20%, not 95%. What this demonstrates however, is the fact that petty sporting rivalries aside, good music is good music and nothing else matters. Only, ‘188.8.131.52’ isn’t good. It’s magnificent.
What you get with Ghosts Of Atlantis, is a great blend of heaviness, extremity, melody and bombast. However, it never feels forced or contrived. Instead, you’re treated to forty minutes of incredibly good extreme metal that understands the importance of being memorable, engaging, and highly addictive. Indeed, as I have put together this post, I have listened to ‘184.108.40.206’ twice back-to-back and it still makes me grin, it still makes me bang my head, and in many places, I still get goosebumps.
Far from getting old and tired, this record seems to get better and better. So, despite the footballing misgivings, it was an absolute no-brainer to find a spot in my end-of-year top 10 for Ghosts Of Atlantis. Thoroughly deserved.
What I wrote at the time:
“The debut album is entitled ‘220.127.116.11’ and for forty all-too-short minutes, we’re taken on a thoroughly engrossing journey into Greek lore and the lost city of Atlantis, across eight distinct compositions.
It is not the easiest music to describe either, which has to be to the band’s credit. The quintet refers to their music as symphonic metal, but that’s a vast over-simplification, because there is so much going on within this album. At times, I’m reminded of the likes of Fleshgod Apocalypse or Ex Dio, as the material is properly brutal. At others, the inevitable Cradle or Devilment influences loom large, thanks to the properly grandiose and opulent soundscapes that are created, full of drama, flair, and also a dash of Gothic grandiosity. Hints of black, power, and dark also make their presence known, for Ghosts Of Atlantis are not seemingly content without exploring a myriad of sounds, textures, and atmospheres.
For me though, above all else, it is the exquisite juxtaposition between extremity and beauty that makes ‘18.104.22.168’ such a thrill to listen to. For all those sharp riffs, gruff vocals and pummelling drumbeats, you also get clean vocals, melodies, and hooks that are simply sublime, soaring out of the darkness with grace and elegance to caress the ears.
And what an album ‘22.214.171.124’ is. And it is made all the more special because I simply wasn’t expecting it. Ghosts Of Atlantis were not even close to being on my radar until the promo invitation dropped into my inbox. But now, I can safely say that this has been one of the biggest highpoints of the musical year so far. So, if like me, you’re a sucker for melodically-charged extreme metal with drama, depth, and real heart, ‘126.96.36.199’ by Ghosts Of Atlantis has to be your very next purchase. “
Read the full review here.
The list this year so far…
Also, if you’ve missed my lists from previous years, you can check them out here: