JANUARY 7th 2012

ATROPOS:
INHABITANT/CRUCIFICTION

Review By: Barretticus

Atropos is a death metal band from Warsaw, Poland and have been active since 1994. Their name comes from the one of the three Greek goddesses of fates, specifically the one who would choose how a person would come to their demise, and would cut the individuals thread of life with her shears. The name of this band caught my attention immediately, being a fanatic about Greek mythology in my youth, and a death metal band named after this particular goddess could be very fitting and lead to some very interesting themes.

We were sent Atropos' two most recent EPs from 2011; Inhabitant and Crucifiction. There is a large time difference between these two EPs and their last full length album from 2001 (this information comes from the Encyclopaedia Metallum site). I would be interested to hear their two full length albums to hear how they have progressed or remained the same during such a long break. The art for the two digi-packs are simplistic and styled after Ionic Greek design which is only fitting with a name like Atropos. The recordings are clear and the mix very well done.

The members themselves choose to be listed by nicknames, such as Godless, the third guitar player on Crucifiction, and HVR, the vocalist and bass player on both EPs. Nicknames are pretty commonplace in European death metal, so no surprises there. These musicians are just as talented as any death metal musician I have ever heard; fast, precise shredding, tight, clear blast beats and slow moody melodies.

I'm not the most knowledgable person about death metal. There's just not a lot of it that I come across I would keep or listen to on a regular rotation. There seems to be a lot of standard stock in this style. Along with the music, the lyrics remain standard in the themes of God, Death, and darkness, sin and a bit of fantasy. I actually really like the lyrics for Hypnos.

 I like a lot of contrast and uniqueness in the stuff I listen to; the riffs, songwriting, and sound of the instruments and vocals of Lamb of God, or the beer-chugging, fur-wearing, bearded feeling I get from Finntroll, or even the heavy Jazz and Blues influence of the super technical instrumental stylings of Tobin Abasi's Animals As Leaders.

I will admit I was very luke warm on these to albums on the first listen, but by the third and the fourth (as I'm writing this), I'm finding parts that are just awesome and is making my experience better. There is still a lot of standard playing and writing here but there are some gems.

Inhabitant's title track and third track Eyelid of Morning Star are fantastic, while contrarily the the other two songs are just okay. The Vader cover is fine, nothing special, and the "bonus" track, Crassnal, has some weird munchkin narration that throws me off.

Crucifiction is about the same. It's 50/50. Hypnos is good, Reverence is okay, Sunri.Dare.S is good, the middle/solo section of Crucify Me is nice and heavy but much too short,etc., but there isn't enough that is unique enough to keep me listening.

However, concerning a conversation I had last night about Manga, the style and writing must remain in a certain field otherwise it becomes something completely different and there is risk of alienating fans and purists of the genre. If  you are a purist or fan of Death Metal, Atropos is  definitely worth a listen, and you can go from there.