Friday, December 18, 2015

Empyrean Atlas - Inner Circle (2014)

Its easy to become disenchanted with guitar based noodle rock, lets just be honest with each other. There is a hell of a lot out there these days. I am happy to say that I am late to the party on one band that really pushes the envelope when it comes to complex guitar rock.

Empyrean Atlas (NY) operate far closer to the aesthetics of modern composition than almost any of their counter parts. Coupled with the fact that they have performed/recorded with an array of artists (including Philip Glass Ensemble and Steve Reich) you might start drawing some sound conclusions.

Intricately laid guitar works that dance and cut like a practitioner of the math rock arts but with some noted stand outs. There is a clear jones for melody and tone that is easily displayed in every song. Rather than boorish fret gymnastics you get something that sounds...carefree..almost easy...breezy...beauti... To think that couldn't be farther from the truth however. These compositions are razor structured and truly a testament to genius level calculations.

Songs do operate in very much the same ways though. BPM's are on cruise control but dynamic shifts do happen. But like its modern comp brethren the compositions are more concerned with repetition and small shifts. It's incredibly nit picky really and possibly a byproduct of my penchant for aggressive shifts in mood. This is an album that needs to be heard...bottom line. Unlike a lot of bands in this ilk, Empyrean Atlas have easy appeal to all manner of music appreciators.  I implore anyone with even a passing interest to really sink their teeth into this band. After repeated listens there are more and more things to discover.

Empyrean Atlas