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Album Review

With a band name like White Arms of Athena and an album title like Astrodrama, you just know you're in for a cerebral experience from this young band based in the Dallas, Texas suburb of Mesquite (yum!), and they don't disappoint any of those preconceived notions with this debut's daring blend of metallic mayhem and musical eclecticism. Opener "Evince" deploys with the unbridled fury of grindcore, but then casts predictability to the four winds by turning to atmospheric melodies and clean vocals, thus setting the unpredictable agenda (or lack thereof) for most of what's to follow. To wit, twin tunes "Creationed" and "Recreationed," plus later offerings like "Astral Body" and "In the Encephalon," forcibly weld together elements of Cephalic Carnage, Cynic, Meshuggah, Atheist, and King's X (not to mention Steve Vai-like guitar shreds) into improbable shapes and uncomfortable positions. It ain't always pretty and while proving generally intriguing for the muso set (especially when pushed to longer lengths by closing epics "Astrodrama" and "From Now On"), how much interest can this mishmash — as lucidly coordinated as it may be — possibly inspire beyond music conservatory walls? Furthermore, what's a mosh pit participant to do with himself during the placid ambient bits scattered here and there? Whip out a book, reading glasses, dressing gown, pipe, and ascot? Actually, maybe we should ask this question of Between the Buried and Me fans, since WAOA are essentially jogging in their zigzagging footsteps. In sum, these advanced musical hybrids make way more sense on paper than in practice, and while one has to respect White Arms of Athena's sheer chops and compositional ambitions, they're abusing a few too many spare parts across Astrodrama to qualify as true originals just yet.

Customer Reviews

Just fantastic

WAoA plays an amazing mix of death metal, prog metal, and metalcore which I find very reminiscent of BtBaM.
Although whereas BtBaM tend to be a bit more spastic, WAoA seems more controlled. This album is full of great hooks, heavy riffage, and melodic lines.

And while some prog bands tend to over do it, WAoA manages to be different enough to sound unique, but still very catchy. This is a fantastic album, and I'd recommend it to any BtBaM fans, and fans of prog metal/metalcore as a whole.

Ok, I've heard enough. I love it

I love progressive metalcore bands, and this is so good! It's like BTBAM but with more clean vocals and epic sections. Now that's something anyone can appreciate! I love how it almost feels nihilistic but in a sweet and soft way. The lyrics are not "F**K THE PLANET, AND I DON'T GIVE A F**KING S*IT WHETHER OR NOT I SEE THE SUN AHHHH OOOO AAAAAHHHH OUUUUUUU!!!!" They seem more realistic. Keep in mind, I haven't heard the whole album yet, but I'm sure as hell gonna!

A definite buy

Nothing new from what the first two guys wrote. This is a really good album. I'm not really into progressive stuff, but I cannot stop listening to this. This band is awesome. It isn't the same old mindless garbage.

Astrodrama, White Arms of Athena
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Metal, Music, Rock
  • Released: Aug 16, 2011

Customer Ratings

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