Wind Atlas covers a lot of ground with their new album ‘Arche-Fossil’. The Spanish electro-goths change course from track to track to create their most expansive album to date. Fans of dark brooding music and gothic sensibilities like Qntal, Unto Ashes and perhaps Seeming will love Wind Atlas. They give the same mood if not with the same style.
Tracks on ‘Arche-Fossil’ largely fall into two camps. The opening half of the album sees Wind Atlas form electro-goth blasters. The thumping dance beats of ‘That Mouth’ forms the extreme end of this arc where the band have gone full darkwave clubbing. It sounds superb. On the other side of these songs is the serpentine ‘Esta Despedida’. This track allows Andrea’s vocals to operatically freeflow over drone pulses like a flute charm. It is both romantic and eerie.
In between these two extremes of camp one, the band mix up electronica and rock elements to move around the darkwave genre. ‘Hunger’ plays with twisted vocals, heartbeat sludges and ambient drones like a collapsed Zola Jesus piece. ‘Where Nothing Happens’ is wonderfully chaotic in its slightly detuned tones whilst ‘Dos Ojos’ revels in that detuned complexity. Its synth bubble up like test tube tracks in a lab.
The second half of the album largely gives way to dark brooding ambient and experimental pieces. ‘Oceanic Sexuality’ hisses and zaps you with rhythmic lasers and raj like drones. ‘Nada’ is a brutal metallic scream. Vocals return for ‘Days of Sadness’ but the focus is on the delicate and charming synths that rain around you like a poem. The album then closes off with the piano and synth-led ballad ‘Do you Have A House?’. It sounds like nothing else on the album yet fits thematically and tonally.
Often albums need a thread to hold the songs together. Wind Atlas provides this with the overall murky mysticism of each track rather than the genre of what is being played. It is a bold statement but it absolutely works. ‘Arche-Fossil’ is going to be an album that I’ll be mining for hidden depths and feelings for many moons to come. Superb.
Recommended track: Hunger
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