After releasing an impressive demo last year which I happened to review, the one-man black metal project known as, Feign, is back with a full-length release full of atmospheric black metal wonder. “Atlas,” is a debut full-length release that truly ascends into the cosmic extreme musical world with endless amounts of creativity.
Feign’s demo, “Into the Void,” really caught my attention last year and I am quite pleased to see the one-man black metal act back again with a full-length album. I felt that the demo had the potential to develop into a full-length release which was mainly due to how the songs seemed to intertwine and the music flowed in one harmonious direction. In the review for the demo I remember expressing how I wanted Feign to continue pushing the boundaries of creativity and focus on coming up with more dynamic and massive sounding atmospheric pieces. Sure enough, I feel like the band answered my expectations and each song on this new album is masterfully crafted. Also, we are talking about a well organized and thoughtfully composed release that pulls the listener into a powerful sounding atmospheric black metal world that is twisted into a variety of progressive forms at times to never sound dull or constantly repetitive.
The album begins with the pleasant sounding piano piece, “Starstrum.” As the piano fades and next song, “Into the Celestial Nothingness,” begins, the music takes a more aggressive turn and explodes into a fiery world of distorted guitars and rapid drum beats along with vicious black metal style vocals. Each sound seems to compliment the other and I like how the melodic moments are strategically incorporated into the music to not sound out of place. The balance between the harsh sounding black metal sounds and soothing atmospheric touches is brilliantly accomplished. Track three, “...A Visitor,” features a solid begin riff that maintains a solemn tone. The tempo eventually changes and the black metal vocals growl over the vivid sounding guitar notes that come screaming out of the speakers.
Switching over to a cinematic sounding instrumental piece called, “Haven in the Sky,” Feign offers listeners more musical diversity, but still follows this perfectly connected atmospheric theme. The following song, “Lunarity,” once again demonstrates that amazing balance of melodic and extreme sounding moments. The tempo is very relaxing even with the black metal vocals singing over the interstellar trance like guitar riffs. Taking a more traditional black metal approach the song, “Deathwisher,” slowly builds up into an explosive drum assault with catchy trem picking guitar parts. Still, Feign does not settle for repetitive simplicity and pushes the music in a variety of directions. There is even a moment of clean vocals, which I was a bit caught off guard by since the black metal style was used mainly for the previous tracks.
The final song I want to mention is the title track, “Atlas.” Without question my favorite song on the album, this long piece of atmospheric black metal is exciting and engaging from the very beginning. The recording of the instruments is top notch and the overall composition is always evolving. Take for example the transition to an acoustic guitar riff that eventually returns with great triumph to the extreme black metal sounds.
I know the production of Feign’s, “Atlas,” is not raw and kvlt like as if the music was recorded in the forbidden woods off of a crappy tape recorder, however, Feign goes above and beyond to show how the world of atmospheric black metal is open to endless amounts of creative and clever interpretation. For a first full-length album, I think the guy who wrote all this music deserves major respect. My only recommendation would be to keep the pedal down by finding ways to push the musical boundaries. Also, take some of the more simple and slightly repetitive moments and see what else he can come up with. Overall though, the album is a planetary crushing release and worth listening to if you enjoy atmospheric black metal that contains a variety of other elements as well.
Feign "Lunarity" :
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