Here’s a nice play on words; couldn’t you consider Atlas to be Florida death metal? Technically yes, as they’re based out of Orlando. But, if we’re talking about what it truly sounds like, do not be confused, because this is not built along the frames of Death or Morbid Angel. Instead, The Destroyer Of Worlds is a melodic death metal record that took the later ‘90s and early 2000’s rendition of the genre; picture something more along the lines of At The Gates. This record is pretty fresh from the oven, hitting the scenes in June of this year, and for a debut record by a young band, the production value is damn impressive. You would assume that excess noise and unclear vocal patterns would clutter this release, but I’ll be damned if it does.
The name of the game is deep distortions while preserving strong melodies. A lot of the riffs are constructed of faster picking and harder chugs, somewhat reminiscent of Amon Amarth. “Death Goldblum” is a fine sample of how a lot of this plays out, keeping the abyssal depth to the guitars, yet having a very clear understanding of the melodies and how the chord progression goes. Nothing is overly complex, as solos aren’t really a huge hitter for Atlas, but the gap is filled in very nicely with catchy fret tapping that feels no need to shred all over the board. As mentioned before, the production is far cleaner than what I anticipated, and because of this, the bass can play a larger role in the makeup. Take the quick chugger known as “Pirate Song”; it emphasizes the bass guitar to create a thicker foundation and a smoother transition. In fact, that’s another “typical debut pitfall” that isn’t present here; poor transitions. Usually amateurs new to record making don’t know how to weave the songs together very well, but this record does a very fine job of doing so. No awkward gaps or weird shifts that don’t fit are to be found. Of course, this does make for a bit of a one-dimensional release, but that’s forgivable, since that one dimension is well crafted, and it isn’t overly long.
Due to cleanliness and melodic approach, this strays completely away form being too brutal and doesn’t come off as very threatening. For someone who doesn’t like guttural gurgle vocals, this is very fitting for myself. Pretty typical in the realm of melo-death, they sound exactly the way you’d picture vocals of this music to sound. Hazy and harsh, but still a sense of understanding and rhythm. The lyrics don’t take themselves too seriously, mostly sticking to stories and philosophical viewpoints, which also prevents this album from being super haunting. Again though, that doesn’t come off as a problem to me, because it displays more musical ability, rather just trying to be too brutal for its own good. The icing on the cake is the smooth flow of the drum work. The man behind the kit backs the rhythm guitar bursts very passionately and on point. The way that each band member takes an important role is what makes this disc work so well.
Accessibility is probably a good word to describe the nature of the beast. Seeing that death metal isn’t usually within that realm, it’s welcoming, especially for newcomers. As someone who doesn’t dive too hard into the super extreme genres, this is incredible. Consistent, musically concise, not overdone, clean, and just the right mix of heaviness and melody. Any fans of melodic death metal should dig this, but I recommend it to anyone that’s into death metal in general.