|Review: Bal-Sagoth - Atlantis Ascendant|
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2001
Review online: October 28, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 3.85/5 (77%) (20 Votes)
This is the fifth, and at this time, the latest Bal-Sagoth CD, even though it has been three years. I think this one and "The Power Cosmic" are going out of print, which does not bode well for the band's status with Nuclear Blast. But then, if they can't get an album out after this long, what do they expect?
I have to say "Atlantis Ascendant" starts out pretty dull, but then gets better as it goes on. After the required intro track, the title cut manages to sound like every Bal-Sagoth song ever recorded – just extremely derivative of their old material. But "Draconis Albionensis" is much better, and by "Star-Maps Of The Ancient Cosmographers" the band seems to have finally gotten in gear. The long-awaited third part of the "Hyperborean Empire" trilogy is here, with a full title that's 28 words long and lyrics and backstory that take up half the booklet. It's a bit much, and doesn't really grab me, but the album makes up for this with three closing tracks that just kill. From the moment Byron intones "It was like some dark, dark dream" there is not another dull spot on the album. Overall "Atlantis Ascendant" is denser and more complex than "The Power Cosmic", but not quite as memorable or catchy. But again this is another stellar Bal-Sagoth release and if you like one album by this band, you will like them all. So even if the formula is starting to get a little old here, the band still delivers a solid album. The cover art is genuinely ugly, and only about half the album's lyrics are here, I guess to make room for the elephantine "Hyperborean Empire" installment, which literally takes up five pages of the booklet. Still better than the bare-bones approach of the last album.
We can hope NB are not getting ready to kick this band off their roster, as I am eagerly awaiting their sixth CD, which we should supposedly see sometime next spring. They've been taking their time at it, but if it pays off in the end, I will be happy. Until then, I will enjoy this one. Blodu Ok Jarna!
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Interview with Byron (Vocals) on April 6, 2003 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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