|Mid 2003 sees Atomizer approaching their five year anniversary, and really hitting their stride. With the second album 'Death Mutation Disease Annihilation' out on CD, (the LP version long sold out) Atomizer have spent most of 2003 working on their third album 'The Only Weapon Of Choice - 13 Odes To Power, Decimation and Conquest'. What follows is the promised thoughts on the record, written in an automatic, streamline form whilst listening to the album without much editing, revising. Straight, raw and sincere thoughts.
Side Power: Power, Not Participation.- No modest start, no wimpy introduction with ersatz pianos or organs, no thunder or war drums, but honest ol heavy fucking metal coming straight out at you through the speakers with all guns fully loaded, firing furiously. One immediately notices the strength of the production on this record. One also becomes keen to the fact that the addition of two guitarists has benefited ATOMIZER greatly! The riffs on this record far excel that past two efforts and make this one replete with vicious hooks that are not bouncy, happy or anything of the sort. This are honest leaden riffs! Thrash laden to the teeth. But this is ultimately something that will win over those who tread in the currents of death metal, more traditional and commercially based heavy metal and I would hope that those who only listen to black metal will realize that this is an approach that should be much lauded! Remember who released the first two ATOMIZER full length vinyls! Not a label to waste time on worthless causes.
And The Hunt Starts Again- the track that appeared on the now sold out split 7" with ROOT from the Czech Republic. Ghost vocals on the chorus, charging pace, no release from the speed throughout the song. Certainly all of you supported the bands and AJNA by purchasing the slab, but just in case... there are multiple vocals tracks here, which I know some people are not fond of. To me, in this case, it simply adds to the ability of the band to convey an as-deadly-live-as-in-the-studio sound. ATOMIZER has started to develop some distinguishing traits that one notices cropping up again and again. Case in point: the vocals that just barely eclipse one another from chorus to verse or verse to refrain to chorus. Small things, but diversity. Just when you think the bounds of metal have been reached a band like ATOMIZER comes along and gives you sincere hope. When I Die, I Wanna Die Violently- possibly my favorite track on the album. FUUUUUUCK, is it brilliant. The guitar line is so sarcastic and expressive of lack of remorse or care. The lyrics are utterly awesome, without many comparisons. This is one of the greatest lures in the ATOMIZER arsenal, for anyone can write lyrics that praise the predator and express loathsome disgust for the meek and mild, but it takes a special something to make lyric content really shine strong. It"s poetic, it"s biting and unique(look at the song titles!) and it"s got a good repetitive flair that allows for the songs to worm their way into your brain, ala pop songs. More of a mid paced song, full on fist banging mania type of a rhythm. A great classic heavy metal guitar delivery here fused with some pounding drum/bass segments. At one or two points the vocals kind of remind me of Maniac on Mayhem"s "Grand Declaration" on the spoken parts. The only similarity with that otherwise abominable record. The Campaign- Fucking awesome turbo- charged bass lines here intermixed with the otherwise crushing rhythms. What kind of metal is this. Catalogs are filled with brief summaries to catch those who go only for one brand of metal. This is ultimately impossible to throw into one category, for it spills forth into multitudes of "categories". I mean, End All Life and Drakkar have released ATOMIZER in the past and this band sounds nothing whatsoever like what those labels normally stoke their fire with. It"s hard to believe that neither of those labels picked this up now, but maybe because this has such amazing potential to get ATOMIZER all over the globe, into the serious tour mode, into every conceivable metal genre magazine. Anyway, this song leads you to believe it will be an instrumental. I don"t think this could dare be compared to Metallica(up to Ride the Lightning) in any fine tuned sense, but something about the quality of the music, the compositions, the uniqueness and versatility of the songs here all make me think that this is where great strides can be made. And it helps that the band knows what"s what, no morons posing behind a dictionary or shallow rules of conduct. Somehow, after the first half of the song climaxes I begin to feel this is the weakest moment of the whole record. Not bad considering the first half is classic. The War That Never Ended- Here is where I sense the jabbing, stabbing rhythms of the music, it"s meter and it"s brutal nature. This song expresses that, possibly, better than any other on here. A great ATOMIZER trait shines forth here where the guitars drop out for a frame or two and the bass just burns across the abyss supported by the drum tempo. Some fine, low key production moments in here that further testimony to the power of premeditation.
The Only Weapon Of Choice- fast attacks again. A good counterpose to the first song with some dynamic elements fused in between with the other songs. A relatively relentless song with a new death growl resembling the spirit of the dead soaring from out of the ground when the midnight bell tolls. It totally summons to mind the images from Disney"s "Fantasia" during the "Night on Bare Mountain" episode.
Side Participation: Isolation- Again, furious blitzkrieg. This is where we can make mention of the leads which are resonant throughout the record. As I write I"m touching on this point of leads, which is not the first time, but the first time my mind has allowed me to focus on it. A great asset that will keep those who don"t really like metal far away from it. I have learned that those who do not like leads can"t handle listening to bands that lace their music with them. Good. Stay away. Great moments here when the "FUCK YOU" attitude kicks in, which it does to a much stronger degree on this side of the record.
One Man"s Failure- the intro to this makes me think of AC/DC on meth! Drums are not something I find myself to take keen notice to on records, but when you release a record you can"t help but obsess over each element of the record. So, you begin to notice (dare I say) elegant little fills and flourishes which enhance the listening experience. You"ll be dazing off into the snow covered mountains and all of a sudden some liller driving tempo like this one, that all adds to the AC/DC on meth feeling. It feels so street/alley metal, so dirty, so primal and grueling, so sincere. So Terrified, Yet So In Control- Great "special effects" on this song. Again and again I can"t help come back to the fact that this record is so well executed, so premeditated and yet so alive. A moment in this song there is a beeping sound which almost always makes me flash to a hospital room or ambulance as if someone"s heart is about to give up while being hooked to the machine. Join The Blackheart Reich- death metal balls out! It almost sounds as if this song is down tuned, the structures here are all about the death metal way and the verse-chorus-verse type composition brings it all right together. The Blackheart Reich. Classy in a sick metalhead kind of way! The Blackness Absolute- more headbanging mania with that great turbo- charged bass lines driving the point home, some great spoken text laid over the raspily sung vocals. Another thing that strikes me about ATOMIZER is that one does not necessarily need the lyric sheet to know what the hell is being said.
Sometimes They Hear The Bullet- This could be the best song on the record! Shit, another one'Yep. An absolutely unbelievable conglomeration of seemingly disparate elements all collide together in this epic, battlefield medley of sounds with great lyrics. The Fog Of War.- you know there are really no credits on the album so I have to look to the CD for notes on the credits...and it lets me know that the new guitarist, Jay, wrote the intro to the last song and this one. Jason delivered the lyrics here, set straight out upon the open vista that music creates. Somehow it kind of reminds me of some of the old punk records, where there is a poem read over the dramatic, acoustic, ploddingly drummed, emotive, melodramatic music. This incredibly intense, deep poem seems to me like it could originate straight from the chapbook of a soldier who had experienced life and death first hand in the Great War. Really profound. And you realize that it is really a suitable conclusion to a record that is so full of hate and anger and rage, without lapsing into a puerile, crude attack...This song is like the final touch on an otherwise flawless painting that has taken so much labor and time and focus and energy to bring to a close."