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Lalu - Atomic Ark CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.70 | 31 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars After eight years away from the studio, French keyboard player Vivien Lalu and his project Lalu have returned with an impressive new lineup and an even more impressive album in the form of Atomic Ark. Featuring Martin LeMar (Mekong Delta), Mike LePond (Symphony X), Simone Mularoni (DGM), and Virgil Donati (Planet X) as band members, as well as guest musicians like Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) and Jens Johansson (Stratovarious), Atomic Ark is the product of top-notch players, and the songwriting is strong enough to make the album feel even greater than the sum of its parts.

Rather than relying on otherworldly technicality and mind-bending scale runs to show the worth of these musicians, Atomic Ark's main focal point is on well-crafted compositions, detailed songwriting, and strong melodies. Tracks like "War on Animals", "Momento", and "Deep Blue" all clock in at under four minutes and feature extremely melodic hooks, but intricate musical details keep things feeling progressive and interesting. For a prog metal release, Atomic Ark is certainly on the catchier side of things, but a song like the twenty-minute-long "Revelations" proves that Lalu isn't content with just sounding like a melodic metal band.

Even at its most straightforward and melodic, Atomic Ark features clever drum fills and captivating keyboard flourishes that become extremely rewarding during repeat listens. Lalu's music just reeks of classy professionalism, and fans of bands like Anubis Gate, Dream Theater, Ayreon, and Cloudscape should find plenty to enjoy from Atomic Ark. Let's just hope we don't have to wait eight years for another album!

J-Man | 4/5 |


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