Funeral Doom Friday: TOWARDS ATLANTIS LIGHTS Steps Forth From "The Bunker of Life"
Finally, the weekend is upon us. What better way to kick it off than with the latest installment of "Funeral Doom Friday". For those who are new to this column; each week features a new or classic album from the realm of extreme doom. Much of funeral/death doom's might comes from an oppressive emotional weight and the use of death or black metal motifs (played at a trudging pace, of course.) Pioneers like Mournful Congregation, Evoken, and Esoteric have mastered this blend of dirge and destruction. For 25 years, they have methodically built compositions that stretch for dozens of minutes all while keeping fans enthralled. Time has elapsed since the days of Thergothon and much like the world around us, the genre has evolved. Today's modern bands contort the very construct of the genre, breeding darkly refreshing new work. Their work thankfully gives this column plenty of material to share.
I'd like to start this week by introducing Towards Atlantis Lights to the world. This doom metal quartet is a supergroup of sorts. The newly-minted project features Kostas Panagiotou, of Pantheist and many other excellent doom bands. In addition to Panagiotou; Riccardo Veronese (Aphonic Threnody), Ivan Zara (Void of Silence), and Ivan Olivieri also make up the band's roster. This coming March, Towards Atlantis Lights releases their debut album, Dust of Aeons. It only seems fitting to present a portion of their first offering today—and it is a rather large portion.
Dust of Aeons opens on the 30-minute track entitled "The Bunker of Life." It is certainly an ambitious introduction for the project. The track is, as expected, a slow build. The earliest moments of this track feature Panagiotou's somber clean vocals and tempered low-end. Yet it becomes much more daunting as it pushes towards the 10-minute mark. "The Bunker of Life" ebbs and flows between the contemplative grief of its early moments and segments of gothic death-doom—as if in these moments their pain cannot be held in any longer. Clean vocals become harrowing growls and the subdued instruments roar to life. The manner in which this is done consequently gives a very nostalgic touch to the music. It calls to mind early Paradise Lost—played at a much slower tempo, of course.
There is no lack of talent amongst the members of Towards Atlantis Lights. If there was ever a group to pull off a 30-minute song as their introduction to the world, it is certainly this band. They wonderfully combine the romantic death-doom of the early Peaceville era with the glacial pace of funeral doom. They do it in a capacity that not many current bands can pull off. It is quite evident the quartet has a bold vision for the future.