Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Atlas Volt

Welcome once again to the Concert Closet fellow progheads...2015  has been a wild, exciting journey thus far, huh?  In keeping with the "off-the-beaten-path" theme,  I spent the past seven days traveling yet another tangent road in my search for all things prog.  Feeling the need for a stronger jolt, I am looking for a little metal and a lot of creativity/innovation.  In an effort to keep my word regarding excitement and new ideas, I am piloting the Concert Closet to Sweden for an adult dose of a band unique in not only sound but also existence...welcome to the world of Atlas Volt.

Atlas Volt is an independent alternative rock duo hailing from Malmo, Sweden.  What grabbed my attention immediately is how they go about what they do and their ability to move through musical genres much the way Sybil moved through personalities.  When you listen to a band for the first time and they feel as comfortable as your favorite sneakers, you know it is going to be a fun week...

The first slice carved from this week's buffet is heavy song called "Mother Nature's Infanticide." The music opens with an almost tribal dance piece--a portend of the emotional outburst that is about to slam your auditory canals.  Vocals come straight at you while I swear I hear the murmur of a didgeridoo carrying the foundation--and then the punch you knew was coming but weren't exactly sure when.  Atlas Volt wraps this piece in barbed wire and lobs it right toward you.  The strength of the guitar and the way it flows seamlessly with the thunder of the drums is striking. Glad I brought my ID; this week ain't gonna be a kiddie ride...

Coming back for seconds, I find a more subtle, gentler tune called "Taken by the Tide."  The song opens under a full moon at high tide, and you hear the soft call of the sea pull you in as the guitar coyly beckons.  Atlas Volt does wild things with sound; the imagery is magnificent!  The vocals come from a distance at first, as if beckoning from the deep...a successful attempt to pull you under.  Atlas Volt does a splendid job painting a mural with sound.  The song picks up intensity only to roll back out with the tide, leaving you like so much driftwood on the shore.  Elegant, soothing, and cerebral...

Liner Notes...Atlas Volt is the definition of what prog should be.  Everything you see, hear, and feel is being brought to you by two extraordinary musicians who do what they do because they love it. Based in Malmo, Sweden, Atlas Volt is the the passion of Canadian singer-songwriter Philippe Longchamps and British producer/composer Adam Hansen-Chambers.  Both of these gents hold down full-time day jobs so as to finance their musical ambitions.  They are unsigned, unsponsored, and unbound--all Philippe and Adam want to do is bring their musical creativity to the world.  They call themselves a "Do-It-Yourself" home studio music project....WHAT?!  I gotta believe they are unsigned by choice--'cuz these guys have talent oozing from their pores!

My final selection for review this week is called "Shine Your Own Light."  An opening reminiscent of  The Alan Parsons Project, this song gets into your bloodstream and flows right through you. The tranquility of the music is a wonderful surprise; the cohesiveness between vocals and instrumentation deifies explanation...just put on some good headphones and let the magic flow over you.  Once Atlas Volt gets in your head you won't want to let them get away.
The clip posted below is a marvelous song called "Find Myself Lost."  You can feel yourself floating weightless as the song starts and your mind becomes one with the music.  Atlas Volt has prospered in the prog garden by refusing to identify with just one section.  The real triumph here is their ability to draw from several areas and meld them together into their own distinctive sound.  Aromas of Spock's Beard, Transatlantic, Gentle Giant, Be Bop Deluxe, and Yes run throughout the music--but only as a reference guide .  Atlas Volt is truly tilling their own prog garden acreage.  Learn more about Atlas Volt at http://www.atlasvolt.com/. You can also follow them on Twitter @AtlasVolt.  Do yourself--and the prog world-- a favor and purchase their debut CD "Eventualities;" this dynamic duo needs to make prog music their day job.


What a week it's been, fellow progheads!  Listening to Atlas Volt reminded me of why I started this blog in the first place--to find terrific prog bands making music they believe in.  In 1986 Brian Eno released an LP called "More Blank Than Frank," and on the back cover explained it was a biased compilation not intended to make a statement about his musical achievements as much as it was just an album filled with songs he would enjoy listening to.  Atlas Volt captures that emotion here--and I hope they never let it go. Back to the search for all things prog...until next week...



  1. Thank you for the honest critique, we appreciate.
    /Atlas Volt

  2. Thank you for the honest critique, we appreciate.
    /Atlas Volt