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Experimental/Post Metal • Belgium

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Atmospheres biography
Founded in 2012

This was initially a one man project but became a collaboration with Bastiaan JONNIAUX on drums, Tobie SPELEMAN (vocals, keyboards),Mathieu RACHMAJDA (bass) and Stef EXELMANS (guitars). After a self-titled album in 2013, a line-up change, the music became more ambient and atmospheric, but always with that djent sound. The band started to play live and received rave reviews before releasing their second album in 2015, "The Departure"

Bio by rdtprog

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ATMOSPHERES discography

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ATMOSPHERES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.08 | 4 ratings
4.83 | 5 ratings
The Departure
3.96 | 5 ratings

ATMOSPHERES Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Atmospheres by ATMOSPHERES album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.08 | 4 ratings

Atmospheres Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Tasartir

4 stars Atmospheres is a band hailing from Belgium. They have 3 albums under the belt of which this is their self-titled debut, and it's a solid, self-assured album.

These guys seem to have their sound down to a T: they are a technical band, all highly proficient at their instruments, and they make what people are calling atmospheric djent. If you're familiar with djent and spacey ambiences, you more or less know what to expect here. If you're not familiar with djent, then imagine heavily distorted and downtuned guitars playing technical riffs. Nevertheless, rest assured you are in for a surprise as it is not all fast paced riffing and their songs all have lovely melodic passages to go along with the spacey textures.

You'll probably like this if you enjoy Devin Townsend's output or Porcupine Tree from "In Absentia" onward.

The band have uploaded all of their albums to their channel on a very popular video streaming site, so you can listen to them there for free. However, make sure you buy their albums and review them - they deserve a little more attention around these parts!

 The Departure by ATMOSPHERES album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.83 | 5 ratings

The Departure
Atmospheres Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Wicket
Prog Reviewer

5 stars It's always amazing to see where the new trends in music emerge from.

Not even 10 years ago, everyone was talking about "djent". Once the mainstream metal community finally acknowledged and embraced the sound of Meshuggah, everyone wanted to play drop a and crunch every amp and subwoofer into noisy cacophonic oblivion. Except, the problem with that is the fact that the music is terrible, one dimensional and gives you a migraine every three seconds.

So, what if we did a complete 180 and go ambient, using djent chords as a textural counterpoint to ambient and spacey soundscapes?

Enter Atmospheres.

While Skyharbor takes this recipe and adds dynamic vocalization from the insanely talented Daniel Thompson and insanely good instrumentation, Atmospheres goes for the minimalist approach. The album's opener, "Sun", opens with a thematic drum groove before reverb laden guitars come in with this hypnotic, almost trance like melody. Once the drums subside, it feels like you've been left to drift in space, and this mellow procedure repeats before the guitars slam on the distortion while the syncopated drum groove continues playing while the same key churns behind in a minimalistic approach. If it weren't for the syncopated and atypical drum patterns, it'd frankly be hard to stay awake for this album and that'd be a damn shame because you'd miss some great tunes.

This is the Atmospheres sound, minimalistic syncopation with heavy distortion in great, big open choruses. "The Furthest Star" is proof, probably with the catchiest chorus you'll find. If there was a genre called Space Metal, Atmospheres would be the figurehead. "Void" is just new age mood music until the drums and guitars (sort of gently) come on halfway through while a piano plucks the same motif throughout the entire song. It's so good I've used it as my alarm clock wake up song (no joke).

Is it repetitive? Absolutely, but that's minimalism's calling card. It's heavy, yet hypnotic, with slight subtle differences such as a gentle modulation in chords during "Into Orbit" (hell, the song titles relate to space, if that doesn't sell you on the concept, I don't know what will).

From groovy tracks like "Satellite", soundscapes like "Lanaikea", hypnotic contemplative tunes like "Direction" and even some post-rock influence on "The Departure", Atmospheres is a band that has carved out a new direction (and I think a new genre) with their sound, joining groups like Skyharbor, Tesseract, Disperse and Vallis Ablaze, among many others, in opting for a texture balance with a spacey approach by juggling heavy minimalistic chords with ambient soundscapes and lush electronics. It's a unique, progressive and yet accessible (my three main judging criteria for great prog albums). Definitely a must listen for fans of djent or even post rock/metal groups like ISIS.

 Reach by ATMOSPHERES album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.96 | 5 ratings

Atmospheres Experimental/Post Metal

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Atmospheric, djenty Prog not unlike bands VOTUM, PROGHMA-C, and KARNIVOOL. Vocals are almost like Tears for Fears' Roland Orzabul . . . without the punch and feeling.

1. "Time I" (2:51) clock ticking and ominous droning synth opens before bass drum and woodblock hit join in. A second eerie synth buzz enters in the second minute before drums sounds start to expand and breathy, airy higher pitched vocals enter. Pretty amazing opening! (10/10)

2. "Time II" (5:41) add djenty guitars and bass and odd time signature drumming and we have a new albeit still unsettling sound. An 80s-effected vocal joins in during a lull then the full wall of sound melds. The vocal almost doesn't work. The best part of this song remains that two-chord synth drone in the foundation. (9/10)

3. "Time III" (1:27) the song's electro-atmospheric breakdown and fadeout. ("Time" should be one continuous song. (4/5)

4. "Nul" (4:26) a great multi-voice chorus almost lifts this one into prominence. (8.5/10)

5. "Mezame" (4:56) a very nice vocal melody in the verses cannot lift this one alone. (8.5/10)

6. "Morph" (5:43) solid but nothing very special here. (8/10)

7. "Gravity" (6:00) love the deep throng of the bass chord dominating the distant vocal during the opening section but, unfortunately, that and a fairly nice chorus melody are the highlights of this one. (8.5/10)

8. "Inertia" (6:20) great MASERATI-like opening riff! Love the slow addition of slow cymbol, synth, and bass before all hell breaks loose! Reprieve for the vocal would work if the vocals weren't so sedate/seem full of indifference. Still, great melodies and the stop-and-start heaviness works well on this one. GREAT fifth minute build and d'nouement! (9/10)

9. "Reach" (5:09) the stage-by-stage, levels of development on this song plus the use of "tricks" like the bouncy/staccato female or pitch-altered voice in the second and fourth minutes is what I've been looking for. More! (9/10)

10. "Evolve" (10:00) the magic here is the ear-worm-like melodic hooks in the slow build of the opening four minutes--guitar strums, percussives, rolling bass, and vocal--as well as the neat ambient electronic second half. Brilliant restraint. (10/10)

A collection of underwhelming music that has somehow dug itself deep into my brain. Most of the songs are not very complex; they are long enough to show more development, to include more flash and flourish. This album kind of reminds me of last year's release from GODSTICKS; ATMOSPHERES is a band straddling two different musical genres. Great potential!

4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of atmospheric djenty prog.

Thanks to rdtprog for the artist addition.

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