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Album Of The Month March 2013
Atheos | ‘The Human Burden’

The way this album opens is fitting. Fitting for one of the most threatening, ravenous releases ever to come out of Irish metal.

A few plucked strings, a distant cello, then bam. Atheos are back.

Since their incredibly heavy debut just a year or two ago, they seem to have distilled even more power into their thundering death metal.

This time it’s more refined, more developed and just all out fucking savage. We all know death metal is on the up at the moment in Ireland as recent high quality records have shown. But this? It’s on another level.

That opener, ‘Ominous Adversary’, shows the newfound essences of the band. It’s like a harder, tougher take on Atheist’s ‘Jupiter’ comeback – the same marriage of technicality to barking vocals, shot through with slimy time signatures and shifts that keep you right on the edge of the seat.

It rips along with an amazing ferocity, while dark diminished chords reinforce the bleakness.

Title track ‘The Human Burden’ has weight as its theme and weight as its sound. There’s a hell of a lot of Morbid Angel’s crisp ‘Domination’ tonality in here, through the Rutan style riffs and licks, and the slow, deliberate, insisting grinding of the rhythm.

You dont even need to know what the lyrics are saying to feel the sense of dystopia and rage the band are railing with. It covers every note like a tar.

They reach a career best on ‘Language Of The Martyrs’. Its intro sounds for all the world like Amber Asylum’s bleakest moments (‘Poppies’, since you’re asking), before a melodic guitar break worthy of Eucharist leads the track inward.

Before long, the chorus comes in with its anthemic swoon. This would be great enough, but the best is yet to come. Cynic style robo vocals lend the track a ‘Traced In Air’ expansiveness and maturity in a section that’s just prog death metal to die for.

The guitar soloing as well reaches the sublime in this track – fantastically executed sweep picking that will have you agape. It’s literally as good as the recent Faceless albums, and that’s saying something.

There is no serious competitor to this band as far as death metal in Ireland goes at the time of writing. Their talent was obvious from the start, and this record rams it home.

I cant believe they’re as yet an undiscovered quantity – the need, need to break through with this insanely brilliant album and show the world what they’re about.

Every minute of it is a death metal tour de force, where melodic detail meets rhythmic invention. And if you think that’s not for you, let me say it another way.

It’s heavy as an absolute brick shithouse, it’s fast, the solos are brilliant and the vocals are straight out of the classic death metal mould.

In fact the more I think about it, the more I find the only – and best – album I can compare this to is Nocturnus’ ‘The Key’. Overstating the case? Not for a minute.

This is brilliant, and surpasses almost all but the very, very best coming out of this country at the minute.

Did our scene really produce this album of death metal genius? I have to pinch myself to believe it.

4.8 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 03/03/13

  1. Much like the Dichotomy stuff recently reviewed there is simply no arguing with the skill on display there.

  2. To be expected, these lads amazingly talented. Kudos

  3. Era Chris Says:

    Excellent musicianship and song-crafting here. Although the Dichotomy lads would be in their rights to ask why their vocals are deemed repetitive… I’d have the same niggle here. Is there more variety in the vocals elsewhere than on these two tracks? They seem a little drudgy.

  4. There’s much more venom in the delivery of these.

  5. Larl Keavey Says:

    Definitely the best band of their ilk on the isle as far as I’m concerned

  6. Ollkiller Says:

    Listened to 2 tracks off the new album there on you tube. They are simply amazing. They have to get discovered off the back of this. All great musicians but that lead guitar is to die for.

  7. HUMAN BURDEN = SAVAGEEEE.this review sums it up…buy the cd..its only €8 aswell.. hmv scum is finished but into the void is still open where i bought it..get fockin in thereeee

  8. Ed Somers Says:

    Sounds like Elysium Fields, Adelain, but with worse production.

  9. Ed Somers Says:

    Which I might add, is a compliment

  10. wizardinblack Says:

    Wow – Proper Excellent song above there – will defo check this out.

  11. That sounds excellent. The first time I’ve heard Atheos as well. Cool

  12. sounds great. but im unfamiliar with the name – do they play live often/at all?

  13. Well deserved review. Great band. Definately worth checking out live..easily one of the most promising bands around and sound bunch of lads too

  14. greaterfool Says:

    Ordered this just now, some great things coming out of Ireland in recent times.

  15. My dick and balls Says:

    That’s really excellent music, vocals could be more interesting.
    Great stuff though.

  16. Ordered Monday, here wed, listened to it today. Well impressed, the quality and musicianship is top notch bar non. Such a clean and tight performance from all involved.

    Hope to catch em live soon as get the same if not better 😀

  17. a great new album from the best death metal band ever to come from this island full stop nice lads to.

  18. OpenSores Says:

    I’m liking this!!!

  19. What a savage review for a savage album!!

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