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Album Review: Visions of Atlantis - Wanderers

I have been a fan of Visions of Atlantis for a while now. They captured my imagination a few years ago with their album Delta but I have since worked my way through their entire discography and I love pretty much their entire output. Over the years, this band has had a lot of members always changing in and out, and this has effected how each record sounds. which is not a problem as variety is good, yet, I think the fanbase has wanted a little stability in the band for some time. Since 2016 they have had a relatively stable line up that culminated with The Deep and The Dark in 2018 and the release seemed to be very well received by audiences and critics alike which solidified the new direction of the band and they went full force in this direction. This leads to the new record, Wanderers.

Wanderers, is an exceptional album filled with captivating and enjoyable songs. As with most symphonic metal everything is mixed to be as epic as possible. Though enjoyed The Deep and The Dark more, this is a much more interesting record from a production standpoint. Everything feels well mixed and the instrumentation is tight. The keyboards and the overall rhythm feels so sharp and precise. The guitars and bass are nicely mixed in and the duel vocals sound great. The musical chemistry at work here is good and it has resulted in a sound that's bold and filled with depth for the listener. There is a solid mix of heavy metal tracks and sweeping ballads, that the fans appreciate and the duelling vocals sound great. There is a decent amount of guitar riffing but not enough to distract from the overall scope of the production, which is more important in symphonic metal.

So, on the overall sound front, the album is solid. However, the thing that stands out on this album are the lyrics. They are full of wonder and imagination as the band take inspiration from classic literature and fantasy and create beautiful poetic imagery for the listener that entertains and rewards repeated listens. As you can definitely hear this on a variety of different levels. Either choosing to take a literal or metaphorical ear to the songs. This is bolstered by impressive vocal performances from ClĂ©mentine Delauney and Michele Guaitoli. Who sing with such gravitas and charisma that their vocals alone can help build this world around you. The album takes you on a journey you have to appreciate the wonderful little moments of detail that keep the ride intact.

I have to say I am really liking the new direction for Visions of Atlantis and I am really happy they have come back into my life. Every move they make seems to be for the better and this record is sure to keep their existing fans happy, whilst hopefully casting the net for a wider audience. I couldn't whittle down a favourite song on the record, it all sound so good. If you had to twist my arm I would have to say I love the sweet serenity of "into The Light" and for my heavier pick, my choice would be "A Life of Our Own" for the bombastic riff and instant hook. An excellent album all around and it's good to see them back with such consistency.


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