Atlas Pain
What the Oak Left

So, quick back story, I recently underwent a musical awakening of sorts. Other than Manowar and Rhapsody, I’ve never been a Power Metal guy. The last power metal album I truly enjoyed was Thy Majestie‘s 1066 back in 2003. However I recent discovered Sabaton’s “Winged Hussars” and Blind Guardian‘s “Grand Parade”, and now I’m hooked. So, I thought I’d look back over all my promos and see what I had simply ignored or disregarded due to being labeled ‘power’ or ‘heavy’ metal in the one sheet or the email.

Well, the first up was the third album, Stonehymn from Dwarven metallers Wind Rose and this, the recent debut album from Atlas Pain, both from arguably Power metal’s home, Italy. And this one was a good one to dip my leather boot clad toes into before I went full power metal, as it’s more of a transitional power metal album with some melodic death metal/Celtic metal nuances, rather than dive right into puffy shirts and wind machines. With nods to Ensiferum, Turias, Brymir, Children of Bodom and such (but let’s be honest those guys are power metal backbones with black metal sheen) , Atlas Pain have some rasped vocals  amid the speedy, keyboard drenched, catchy, choir filled, epic romps.

Atlas Pain  is essentially a gate way drug for me as it’s power metal with harsh vocals. It’s full on, mega synth backed, galloping cantering majesty with some clean choruses to sing along to.  With titles like “Annwn’s Gate”, “Ironforged” and “Bloodstained Sun” you know what you are getting thematically and lyrically, and yes there’s a fun little medieval flock to the material. There’s high octane romps like standouts”Til the Dawn Comes”  and down right killer, Equilibruim-ish “The Storm”, and by golly they are fun as shit. There’s a romping rock break in “Ironforged” the super fucking catchy “The Counter Dance” (watch the above video and tell me that isn’t power metal at heart), and there’s the ripping folky jig in “Anwnns’ Gate” and it’s all so cheese laden and grin inducing, it’s silly. Which is fine, because the lads seem to have a sense of humor and are not taking themselves too seriously (again, watch the video above)

Penultimate track “To the Lighthouse” is where we get the obligatory ballad, but it ends up being a powerful moody Amon Amarth stomp. The album ends with a real treat, and eleven minute instrumental number called “White Overcast Line”, and as a guy who generally hates instrumentals, I was enamored the whole time with its rangy, folky jaunt.

I would never have found these guys or this release, if not for looking for power metal tagged promos, and I’m glad I did, as they provide a perfect balance of power metal and harsher music as I delve even further into the genre and a perfect stand in after Equilibrium’s disappointing Armageddon last year.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 13th, 2017


  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    Hey, not bad at all. I love that lead, it’s got such a great folky vibe.

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