ATMOSFEAR - Inside The Atmosphere

AtmOsfear - Inside The Atmosphere

10 songs
75:47 minutes
***** ****


Just when you think there is no real progressive rock or metal out there anymore, as labels tend to flood you with so-called prog releases that are more often than not just melodic metal, there comes a newcomer band that restores your faith in the genre.

AtmOsfear from Northern Germany are also very melodic in their musical orientation, but they leave enough space for rhythmic excursions that make them sound different from many of their peers. The nine-minutes long epic opener Inside The Atmosphere shows the band's ability to combine melodic passages with complicated rhythms into a really long song that never sounds boring. Like an Escher drawing, the music seems superficially simple, but once you get immersed into the details, you can't stop being surprised at the ingenuity of the composition. The next song Circumcision shows AtmOsfear from a harder side, and also underlines the progginess of the five-piece. It's here where the rhythms sound positively weird and awaken memories of the constantly underrated 70s supergroup UK. As the album goes on, you will find more melodic stuff, like the rather straight-forward Mysterious, but also a lot of pleasing progressive playfulness which finds its zenith with the 12-minutes Zephaniah. There's also a coverversion of the Beatles' Eleanor Rigby, which is mostly well done but pales in comparison to their own material. The end of the CD is made up of a - in my opinion - rather unimportant ballad called There Is Love At The End. Apart from that song and the cover version, no song is shorter than 6 minutes, and although that may seem long to some people, AtmOsfear always fill them to the brim with interesting ideas.

It's not so much prog rock or prog metal, as it is a band selecting ingredients from here and there and everywhere: you hear some Dream Theater influences, then there's a hint of UK progginess la Marillion or Pendragon, and just when you think it can't be true, you feel reminded of latter day Sieges Even. So AtmOsfear don't really reinvent the genre, but they are using the different spices of prog in such an inventive way that it's sheer pleasure listening to Inside The Atmosphere. No self-respecting prog fan can make it past this release.

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