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Vertebra Atlantis - A Dialogue With The Eeriest Sublime review

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Band: Vertebra Atlantis
Album: A Dialogue With The Eeriest Sublime
Release date: October 2023

01. Into Cerulean Blood I Bathe
02. Frostpalace Gloaming Respite
03. Drown In Aether, Sovereign Of Withered Ardor
04. Cupio Dissolvi
05. In Starlike Ancient Eyes
06. Desperately Ablaze, From The Lowest Lair
07. A Dialogue With The Eeriest Sublime

A gargantuan slab of ice approaches from the heavens, something that ought to be mind-twisting for all who witness, but in that moment, it feels really comprehensible. Let's see why.

Vertebra Atlantis is a pretty new trio that have only put one other album so far, and even though I don't want to give too much credit to one single musician, it seems that Gabriele Gramaglia, also known as G.G., is the one that attracts most of my attention here, as he handles guitars, keys, and orchestrations. I've covered his work with Cosmic Putrefaction before, so he's the one member I have most familiarity with. There seem to have been some slight lineup changes since the last album, but drummer/vocalist R.R. also remained. For some reason I don't find anybody credited as the bass guitarist on this one, which is a bit weird. Regardless, I was a pretty big fan of their debut, Lustral Purge In Cerulean Bliss (review here), and I was curious how they'd develop on the strengths of that album.

The most instantly striking thing is the cover art, with Lustral Purge having had a more abstract tone where you couldn't exactly tell what was going on. A Dialogue fleshes its cover art more, giving a more tangible feel, and I feel that's a pretty good analogy for what happens in the music too. Vertebra Atlantis are a blackened death metal band, but black and death metal come in many shapes and forms, and being even more precise in the nuances that the band approaches with each style would be pinpointing the mix as one where the death metal itself is a mix of OSDM and the newer dissonant branch, while the black metal is more atmospheric and even symphonic at times. The way Lustral Purge went about delivering this mix really well, avoiding sounding too one-dimensional, but not always striking the perfect balance.

A Dialogue is not exactly flawless either, but it feels like the mix of sounds is a bit more thorough, and the more ambient/symphonic elements of their sounds, which I've been hoping would be further developed from the predecessor, feel even more fleshed out. The riffing, dissonant as it is, doesn't feel as chaotic and wild as dissonant metal like this usually gets, and the more streamlined and refined songwriting gets the extra oomph out of its riffing and atmosphere while still embracing a more ever-changing long-form flow. The symphonic side can get a little overbearing, pushing the rest of things out of the mix whenever its presence is central, and the baritone cleans in the closer, though preceded by some choirs in an earlier song, feel quite unexpected but welcome.

Further improvement is still possible and in pretty much the same ways that A Dialogue has already improved upon Lustral Purge: grandiosity, integration, and scope.

Written on 26.11.2023 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 68 users
27.11.2023 - 14:21
Rating: 6
A Nice Guy
I'm still not convinced as to whether I like this that much, the chaotic dissonant approach doesn't always work for me and this seems to be one of those instances where I feel like the structure does seem to occasionally get a tad too much for me. However, there are several moments I find interesting, such as the eerie opening build-up, and occasional supurb guitar leads on "Cupio Dissolvi", the wind instrument sections, and creepy symphonic work on "Desperately Ablaze, From The Lowest Lair", and haunting clean vocals on "A Dialogue With The Eeriest Sublime".
28.11.2023 - 17:10
Auntie Sahar
Drone Empress
Upgrade for sure. Lustral Purge was good in its own right but needed a bit of polishing, but this one definitely brings that polishing I think. Solid 8.0 Meloblack in my book!
I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. “Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go.


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