If you’re looking for a pirate metal album this summer that you can listen to guilt-free (what? I meant now that we’re all mature enough to not care to call things like that a pleasure guilty… an honest guv!), you need look no further than Visions of Atlantis‘ eighth complete album, the title quite brutal and descriptive pirate (Napalm discs).
All kidding aside, while this isn’t a pirate metal album (although “Mercy” certainly has a nautical, pirate joie de vivre), it’s one heck of a pirate metal album, with the Austrian quintet who have fun creating a narrative and an anchor around which to wrap their quality symphonic metal (with generous doses of power).
If Visions of Atlantis, despite its long catalog, is something new for you, let’s publish it early – there will be comparisons with Night wish. On opener ‘Pirates Will Return’, within two minutes Clementine Delauney moved from Anette Olsen mid-range voice to glorious superior control Tarja register, and Michele Guaitoli (also Temperance) added a male vocal, all with stabbing and explosive swirls underneath, and “Clocks” could have been smuggled Imaginary. But these are comparisons, and, with references to Kamelot, Avantasia, Amaranth (mainly in chorus melody selections) and Amber Dawn, only acts as a light guide. The VoAs are, and have been for some time, their own entity; proven most elegantly by the second track the uplifting “Melancholy Angel” with its dancing keyboard monogram, vocal interplay, emotive bridge and memorable chorus, a track that fulfills VoA’s defining criteria.
“Master The Hurricane” is an impressive dynamic tour de force, ranging from brooding keys to orotunda symphonic instrumentation, adding dramatic backing vocals and a powerful epic chorus with open arms, before the song plays with the drama of mother nature. . as we find peace in the eye of the storm, as cellos and smooth instrumentation allow Delauney to lead us back into a rousing climactic return to the chorus. Indeed, Delauney is the master of the ring throughout; powerful (and channeling its inner Sharon Den Adel) on ‘Darkness Inside’, delicate on ‘Heal The Scars’, playful on ‘Freedom’, convincing and confident elsewhere with a warmth to her euphonic voice; commanding and always commanding attention, interacting in the most narrative and engaging way with Guaitoli. The orchestrations are also in the foreground, here the responsibility of the composer and the sound engineer Lucas Knoebland completed by Ben Metzner (Feuerschwanz), a glorious embellishment, successfully bringing the Atlantis universe to life in Technicolor.
One of the biggest compliments to give pirate is that, while ‘Melancholy Angel’, ‘Legion Of The Seas’ and masterstroke ‘In My World’ – a song that sees Metzner’s coltish flute alongside the multiple twisted, whorled earworms of a song which turns into a chorus the size of a galleon – are probably the gold in Davey Jones’ locker, VoA could take any or all of the twelve tracks and drop them into their live set without loss of quality . pirate is a most glorious adventure that mixes symphonic, powerful and melodic metal with confidence, craftsmanship, excellence of execution and joy.
Purchase the album here: https://www.napalmrecordsamerica.com/visionsofatlantis
8 / 10