Premiere: Towards Atlantis Lights – “Babylon’s Hanging Gardens”
Though heavy metal is often cited as a haven for the refuse and darkness of human existence, a creative space within which disgruntled minds can air their depraved fantasies of murder and perversion while exorcising personal demons of hate and addiction, there’s a tragically overlooked side of metal of a distinctly different flavor. As often as metal relegates itself to the gutter, it also aspires to loftier traits of heroism, tradition, and even grace. When handled capably by expert musicians, these traits can lend this art we love a greater sense of grandeur and proportion, one that stirs our hearts and minds and moves us to dream and act boldly. Towards Atlantis Lights is one such act, and today I have the distinct pleasure of premiering their sublime new track “Babylon’s Hanging Gardens.” Steel thyself for glory.
Towards Atlantis Lights is a new doom group of superior acumen and familiar faces dedicated to recalling the tragedies of the past that we might look forward to a bright future. Featuring members of Landskap, Aphonic Threnody, and Void of Silence, the band is resolute in crafting a vision of splendor and grace on their upcoming album Dust of Aeons. Their mission?
Each song is an elegant expression of their dreamlike visions of a world long past. They carry the burden of grief passed down from centuries with utmost grace and lend to the music an unmistakable nostalgic charm that is very much palpable.
One listen of “Babylon’s Hanging Gardens” is sufficient to assuage any fears that the band misses this lofty ambition. This track, the second on Dust of Aeons, is a masterstroke of doom expression. Within the song’s spacious confines, that themselves evoke the breathy majesty of Nebuchadnezzar’s ancient wonder, you’ll find massive riffs that rise like austere palatial columns between the meditative negative spaces of the track. You’ll witness slight keyboard accents that provide a rich organic texture to the towering guitar constructs like creeping vines or cascading fronds. You’ll hear lilting choral effects that spill forth in the dappled light to provide shade and comfort. You’ll be touched by the warm acoustic passages and melodic intermingling of growls and clean-sung verses like a comforting breeze billowing forth from ages past. “Babylon’s Hanging Gardens” is a song that compels you to pause and listen, its pace slow and methodical, its passages deep and contemplative, its tone rich and august. It’s a doom track through and through, one with killer riffs that certainly command attention, but it’s a work of stark beauty within which you can allow yourself to simply be possessed by the weight of it all.
For as grim and dark as metal can be, “Babylon’s Hanging Gardens” reminds us, with all the artistry of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, that this art is also beautiful.