Aug 1, 2012

Atlas - ...And It Never Ends - EP Review

Album Year: 2012
Genre: Hardcore
Location: Watertown, NY

1: Circle Of Life
2: Eaten Alive
3: Wearing Thin
4: Broken Homes

After listening to …And It Never Ends at least ten times through, I can safely say that Atlas is a band that everyone should check out, regardless of whether or not they like hardcore punk. As someone who primarily listens to metal, I can say that Atlas has successfully won me over, even though their music is not something I would have discovered on my own.

   My biggest complaint about …And It Never Ends is that the entire EP lasts around twelve and half minutes. That being said, I enjoyed every moment of it. Breakdowns are present, but Atlas does not rely on them to deliver an intense experience. Although …And It Never Ends is light on breakdowns, it should not be considered melodic. Melodic and brutal elements are incorporated to make …And It Never Ends a balanced experience. One of the biggest pitfalls that Atlas avoids is the use of gang vocals. In my opinion, gang vocals are often overused in hardcore and contribute little to the experience. Gang vocals usually hide the lack of traditional singing ability among the band members, and are disappointing or not performed live. The members of Atlas stays true to their personal skill and do not rely on any tricks to enhance their performance. With that said, fans of Atlas or hardcore in general will definitely not be disappointed with this EP.

The first track, “Circle of Life” starts out with something I didn’t expect: a sound sample. As the sample fades away and the guitars begin, you get the sense that it will be an awesome song. I am glad to say this is definitely true. Lasting four minutes and six seconds, the first track is the longest song by about half a minute.

 The second song, “Eaten Alive” is unfortunately only about half as long. In my opinion, it features some of the best breakdowns. Unlike in popular punk, and even metal for that matter, the breakdowns are varied and do not consist of simply repeating the same note at different speeds.

“Wearing Thin” is the name of the third track. “Wearing Thin” is arguably the catchiest song on …And It Never Ends. Brian of Thoughts In Reverse provides guest vocals midway through the song, adding to the level of intensity.

   Although “Broken Homes” is not the title track (there isn’t one), the last track of …And It Never Ends uses the name of the EP a few times during the song. Towards the end of the song, vocalist Damon from With Daggers (if I recall correctly) provides guest vocals. “Broken Homes” is an awesome song and a great way to end the EP.

   Unfortunately, Atlas recently announced that they will be breaking up. If you still want to buy the EP, check it out on Irish Voodoo and Contain Records. That being said, I would still highly recommend buying the EP whether you like hardcore punk or not.