Pirates II: Armada

Visions of Atlantis

The Austrian pirates are back, so pay your respects or flee!
June 14, 2024

The greater problem for many bands with conceptual works is to create the right ambience for what they’re trying to express both in the music as in the songs. Traditional Black Metal acts must sound darkened and morbid; Death Metal requires aggressiveness and a massive sonority; and such is the hard way for many. It’s not dressing like any character and playing anything that things will fit. But some acts works in a great way both on musical as on the visual aspect, one of the is the Austrian quintet VISIONS OF ATLANTIS, here with its new full-length, “Pirates II: Armada”.

Once more, the band worked on studio with Felix Heldt (producer and who did the recordings) and Jacob Hansen (mixing, mastering), and it’s clear that everything was done to make the band’s music the right sonority (defined, clear and silk, but with the essential dose of weight and distortion), to enable the quintet to have something that could allow their songs to be expressed as they needed to be. And Péter Sallai (on the artwork) is another one who worked with the band previously. Maybe such team was assembled to give the album a ‘continuity feeling’ from “Pirates” on. And as guests, here are Felix Heldt on the acoustic guitars and orchestration arrangement; Sandro Friedrich on the flute, duduk, and bagpipes, Robert Kovačič on the ethnic percussion, and Luki Knoebl and Simon Willis on the orchestral arrangement. The ‘who-did-what’ can be read on the booklet, please.

But what more can be explained about what this pack of pirates musically plays that wasn’t said and written before? They’re a Symphonic Power Metal act whose songs are filled with excellent melodies, great choruses and charming symphonic elements, but always in a way that sounds different from many other acts that are on such trench. Maybe the one can question on this one’s personal taste the value of “Pirates II: Armada”, but when passion decreases and reason takes over, there are nothing to complain about the album. Enjoy it.

Having contrasts between grandiose symphonic parts and dramatic and introspective moments, “Pirates II: Armada” can be said as a conceptual album in many ways, and from the “To Those Who Choose to Fight” (that works as a melancholic intro for the album with excellent vocals), passing by “The Land of the Free” (a grandiose and catchy song filled with many orchestral elements contrasting with the weight imposed by bass guitar and drums), “Monsters” (one of the Singles of the album, a heavier and funny song filled with excellent melodies and guitars, and a catchy chorus), “Tonight I’m Alive” (another funny moment of the album, with contrasts between male and female vocals), “Armada” (a perfect blend between the weight of Heavy Metal with symphonic parts, but using an accessible outfit in many parts, including the chorus), “The Dead of the Sea” (wow, what lovely contrasts and fine vocals), and “Ashes to the Sea”, “Hellfire”, “Collide”, “Magic of the Night”, “Underwater” and “Where the Sky and Ocean Blend”, it sounds catching, dramatic and full of a personal appeal, giving the same feeling of watching an opera or a theatre piece.

Of course, “Pirates II: Armada” will split people in two groups: ‘hating it’ or ‘loving it’, but who really cares? Listen to it and praise  the efforts of VISIONS OF ATLANTIS.

10 / 10









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"Pirates II: Armada" Track-listing:
  1. To Those Who Choose to Fight
  2. The Land of the Free
  3. Monsters
  4. Tonight I'm Alive
  5. Armada
  6. The Dead of the Sea
  7. Ashes to the Sea
  8. Hellfire
  9. Collide
  10. Magic of the Night
  11. Underwater
  12. Where the Sky and Ocean Blend
Visions of Atlantis Lineup:

Clémentine Delauney - Vocals
Michele Guaitoli - Vocals
Christian Douscha - Guitars
Herbert Glos - Bass
Thomas Caser - Drums

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