Atropos Project: Equator

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Atropos Project: Equator
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Atropos Project: Equator
Progressive Rock
Self-release
March 6th, 2013
Release length: 49:54
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Progressive Rock and Metal band Atropos Project is a one-man project that comes to us from New York. Formed back in 2010 by John Quarles, the debut album, Equator, has been recorded and released independently through the entities Bandcamp account. Throughout the year, John’s work has been making solid waves through the internet with this just shy of fifty minute recording, but still hasn’t really broken through the seal of the underground. Given the recent surge in popularity to this style of music, is this a full-length that acts as a stepping stone to their success, or is more of a sign of bad things to come?

Equator starts off with a beautiful acoustic piece titled “Inception’s Promise,” which sets a a vivid image of nature, though the season is a bit confusing due to it having both a spring vibe, and a mild winter touch of frostbite at times thanks to certain riffs and the inclusion of the violin that ends things on a slightly darker note. Either way, this introduction sets up what is a highly perception-driven Progressive Rock experience, captured perfectly with the incredibly mellow “F.A.C.” The simpler guitar riffs and exploring leads set a soothing atmosphere, though the latter can become a bit too complex and overbearing at times, such as around the minute and a half mark. There are some additional organ effect from the random keyboards that do add a little extra richness to the musical environment.

Songs like “F.A.C.” do become scarce, or limited to just certain passages. While it’s a little disheartening, the other performances, like “Deadfall,” are far from bad. This track introduces some heavier, energetic material to the listener for a nice change of pace. It does usher in some crisp, slower experiences with a larger focus on the cymbals, finding some shifts that can be a bit abrupt, such as around the five-and-a-half minute mark, but still work out to change from tighter, catchy riffs to the more crystal-like piano-driven passages that give the sense of staring at a running snow-capped stream. If you pay attention to the background, you can also pick up on some noises from the guitar the microphones picked up, but in a weird way it is muffled enough to give the sensation of running water. “Suspiria,” however, doesn’t have much of that nature-driven atmosphere, instead being a heavy, hard rocking performance full of life and enthusiasm, able to grab the attention of anyone who happens to be able to hear it. The bass really stands out here, providing a strong backbone the the catchy hooks throughout the performance. Things do slow down at one point, leading to more of a Jazz inspired guitar solo, but it works to mellow out some of the tension that the softer background riffs and cymbals manage to create.

Equator is a well executed Progressive Rock album, but isn’t too afraid to bare its Metal teeth. With comparisons to groups like Animals as Leaders and Opeth, it’s hard to ignore that Atropos Equator has what it takes to stand tall in this style of music, but is still feeling itself out. Some of the most memorable performances on the album are beautiful performances that immediately establish mental visions of nature and seasons, while the heavier cuts are simply catchy, though not the most addicting overall. But, as stated earlier, this is more of a perception album, one that relies on the listener to set the tone of the atmosphere for each song instead of being pushed into what he or she is supposed to see, and that element of the release is done quite well. With a little more time, Atropos Project will more than likely be able to weave it all together for a truly adventurous album. But, for now, Equator is still a solid trip fans of the Progressive genre will definitely enjoy.

01. Inception’s Promise – 2:49
02. F.A.C. – 5:06
03. Deadfall – 8:55
04. Spiralling – 6:06
05. A Curious Trip – 6:23
06. And…..Lift – 3:39
07. Suspiria – 5:37
08. Drudgery – 5:31
09. New Leaf – 5:48
Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

Atropos Project

Physical review copy of this release provided by Atropos Project.