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EP Review: Atlases – Upbringing

upbringing

Artist: Atlases

Album: Upbringing

Number of Tracks: 6

Release Date: 20th January 2014

Label: Self-released

Fancy making 2014 a loud one? If so, then the 20th January will get you off to a good start as Berkshire hardcore quintet, Atlases, will be shattering your winter blues with their debut EP, Upbringing.

Any band that claims to live and play like Parkway Drive has plenty to prove. It doesn’t bode well though that as the opening pounding to Betrayer kicks in, you don’t appear to be promised much more than the normal, chugging riffs and percussive assaults that come with the genre. However, a saving grace arrives in the form of singer, Jack Parsons’ vocals. Hoarse and throat-shredding though they are, each breath is ended with a sweetly British inflection. Most hardcore singers churn their vocals into a generic North-American death-scream, but it’s Parsons’ ability to allow some of his natural tone to seep through that makes you sit up and pay attention.

atlases

Though this softens the blow, you can’t ignore the fact that Atlases aren’t really doing anything different here. Giving Bring Me The Horizon and Of Mice And Men as their sources of inspiration, Upbringing certainly draws upon their styles but sometimes ends up mimicking them rather than developing its own sound. This presents itself rather obviously during My Testament, which after opening with a particularly venomous riff, lapses into relative silence for the verse. Listen to Bring Me The Horizon’s It Never Ends and something of a deja vu will occur.

However, If you can hold onto the fact that it is a debut effort, then some potential can be unearthed. While a full length record at this point might wear a bit thin, the 6-track EP we’re presented with for now gives just enough kick to ear-mark Atlases for future listening. Look to Consume/Deny at the end of Upbringing and the boys from Berkshire take a turn that should prompt the one eye-brow you might have initially raised to be finally joined by the other. This becomes a true showcase of Atlases’ potential as the vocals reach almost Slipknot-like proportions. All parts of the rhythm section come together and for the first time singer and instruments combine to actually form a single moving wave of sound, not the jutting riff-stop-riff-stop dynamic you’d expect. It’s a welcome reward for sticking with the EP from start to finish and hints that, given time to develop their sound, Atlases could well be set to leave their peers behind and join the greats.

1. Betrayer

2. Secret Keeper

3. My Testament

4. The Deepest Dark

5. You Dreamer, You Fool

6. Consume/Deny

I can say that one thing I’ve learned about hardcore is that the ability to evolve is key to keeping the frenzied and slightly repetitive style from becoming stale. With Upbringing, it doesn’t seem like Atlases have instantly achieved this. However, they can’t be faulted on technical knowledge. They’ve got their influences, mastered their techniques and although originality appears beyond them for the most part now, there’s no denying that if this is just the beginning, the tools to instigate hardcore’s next evolutionary process are within Atlases’ reach.

For more on Atlases go to:

Facebook | AtlasesUK

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About The Author

Currently a 3rd year Journalism student at the University of the West of England. Real life just around the corner and getting excited about new Journalism opportunities! The more music involved, the better.

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