England is a country that has contributed so much to the rock and metal scene and still has some hidden gems to offer us. I was very happy to review the second album by Atlas, called “Built To Last”. The 5-piece melodic rock band has prepared 12 tracks spanning just under an hour of playing time.
While they are technically melodic rock, I would dare to label them more as progressive. That is because their melodies are sophisticated but enjoyable, the lyrics are refined, and the construction of each track is meticulous. Atlas has three more winning points: production, mixing and mastering. “Built To Last” is really crafted neatly, and it’s such a mesmeric experience to listen to it.
Unfortunately, though, there is one small fault of it: Craig Wells’s unique style included moments of vocal imprecision, which may not be to everyone’s taste. He compensated this with some very expressive moments here and there on the record (“Tears“, “Painted Memories“). Maybe this was intentional to give the album a raw and unpolished edge? If so, it succeded!
Atlas‘s musical style is a fusion of the new and the nostalgic, creating a sound that pays homage to the golden era of AOR and the vibrant spirit of the 80s. With a fresh and innovative twist, they effortlessly bridge the gap between the past and the present, infusing their compositions with the timeless melodies and lush harmonies that define the AOR genre. The catchy synths on “Lonely Hearts“? Simply superb!
Yet, they don’t simply emulate; instead, they breathe new life into this classic sound, crafting songs that resonate with both a sense of familiarity and excitement. It’s a musical journey where vintage influences meet contemporary creativity, so prepare yourselves for some evocative and forward-thinking tracks.
To conclude, get ready to go down memory lane with Atlas‘s latest album: you’ll be transported to the 80s on a whim, but you’ll also feel like you have never left 2023. That is the power and the magic of the music.