White Arms of Athena - Astrodrama (Music CD)

Release Date: 09 January 2012
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With a band name like White Arms of Athena and an album title like Astrodrama, you just know you're in for a cerebral experience from this young band based in the Dallas, Texas suburb of Mesquite (yum!), and they don't disappoint any of those preconceived notions with this debut's daring blend of metallic mayhem and musical eclecticism. Opener "Evince" deploys with the unbridled fury of grindcore, but then casts predictability to the four winds by turning to atmospheric melodies and clean vocals, thus setting the unpredictable agenda (or lack thereof) for most of what's to follow. To wit, twin tunes "Creationed" and "Recreationed," plus later offerings like "Astral Body" and "In the Encephalon," forcibly weld together elements of Cephalic Carnage, Cynic, Meshuggah, Atheist, and King's X (not to mention Steve Vai-like guitar shreds) into improbable shapes and uncomfortable positions. It ain't always pretty and while proving generally intriguing for the muso set (especially when pushed to longer lengths by closing epics "Astrodrama" and "From Now On"), how much interest can this mishmash -- as lucidly coordinated as it may be -- possibly inspire beyond music conservatory walls? Furthermore, what's a mosh pit participant to do with himself during the placid ambient bits scattered here and there? Whip out a book, reading glasses, dressing gown, pipe, and ascot? Actually, maybe we should ask this question of Between the Buried and Me fans, since WAOA are essentially jogging in their zigzagging footsteps. In sum, these advanced musical hybrids make way more sense on paper than in practice, and while one has to respect White Arms of Athena's sheer chops and compositional ambitions, they're abusing a few too many spare parts across Astrodrama to qualify as true originals just yet. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
Release Date: 09 January 2012

1. Conception: Evince
2. Conception: Ascend
3. Esoteric Allusions: Creationed
4. Esoteric Allusions: Recreationed
5. Implementing Geomancy: Crown Chakra
6. Implementing Geomancy: Astral Body
7. Implementing Geomancy: In the Encephalon
8. Implementing Geomancy: Superhuman
9. Blueprints for a Time Machine: Astrodrama
10. Blueprints for a Time Machine: From Now On

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Catalogue No: 10117CD