ARTIST: Atlantic South
ALBUM NAME: Atlantic Sout EP
RELEASE DATE: 7 November 2015
COUNTRY: South Africa
CITY: Cape T+own
Luke Edwards – Vocals
Gareth Howard – Guitar
Minaz Dhanani – Bass
Nathan Dickson – Guitar
Alex Williamson – Drums
Cape Town has long been the “ugly sister” to Johannesburg’s metal scene. Perhaps it is the calming mountain view or the chilled inhabitants, but they were definitely behind. Not anymore. Cape Town is finally coming to the party with polished acts like Atlantic South, who just released their self-titled album in November of last year.Atlantic South was formed in 2013 by a diverse group of 5 guys, each looking for someone else to jam with. They managed to use their wide range of personal styles to form a band with a shared focus and a will to produce. Although the band is known to reject conformity by not being boxed into a certain style, or having a certain look, their music is essentially metalcore. Metalcore with groovy guitars and doomy, personal vocals.
Two of the things that differentiate them from traditional, cookie-cutter metalcore are their lyrics and the use of their breakdowns. When one looks up “metalcore” online the major defining factor is the use of breakdowns, often as a bridge between the verse and the chorus. These breakdowns can become increasingly scripted and almost comical. Not so with Atlantic South. These guys know how to place their breakdowns in their songs, making sure they enhance the flow rather than have them randomly scattered throughout. Another thing raises Atlantic South above the rabble is the beautifully written lyrics that Luke weaves into each piece. If you are looking for angsty teenage rage based archetypes, this is not the place to find them. Luke uses personal experience to write his words, subconsciously being aware that most people will find a strong shared emotion in them too. This is the sign of a band with great things on the horizon – the ability to include the audience in the song.
The EP itself consists of 6 songs, 3 of which have previously been debuted as singles and have featured heavily in their live gigs. Each song carries its own special flavour and feeling. Djin Djin heavily stresses their formative roots of bands such as Parkway Drive, but throws in some truly innovative guitar work, almost reaching towards bands such as Gojira. The name appears to be a tip of the hat to the metal style Djent (also named for the heavy sound that the 7 and 8 string guitars make).
In the song Depth Charger, Atlantic South produces some Iron Maiden type stoner sounds, noticeably from Gareth on his 7 string Ibanez. This ties in neatly to the fact that the band won a recording at a Cape Town studio called “7 String Studios” which is where the album was ultimately recorded.
Terrorformer was the band’s first single and it wholly deserves that title. It pulls together marching rhythms, matching a heartbeat, while sliding in little parcels of headbanging goodness. This song is definitely the party starter of the bunch.
My favourite track, by far, is By the Tempest. It isn’t only the progressive sound of the driving bass, but ultimately the lyrics that make this piece special. It is a rare thing to be able to enmesh doom-laden, dark sounds with meaningful and almost poetic words, but this is exactly what Atlantic South have done. This is definitely the one that I am adding to my playlist.
The final track of the 6 song EP is Riptide, which has previously been released on Soundcloud, and played live. The band has chosen to rework the song entirely, making sure it gels with the vibe of the rest of the album. That is always the sign of a great band; the ability to see when something as personal as a previously written and performed song would benefit from a re-imagining.
Ultimately, Atlantic South rises above the Monstrous Monotony of Much Metalcore to provide a well produced listening experience, which can only be described as “more-ish”.
Reviewed by: Di (more from Di)
Shots fired by: Sammy SF (more from Sammy)
Date: 15 April
(More from The Metalist za on Atlantic South)
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