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2011 | JUNE

RATING: 9/10



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NEUWELT MUSIC is an Irish Music Magazine based in Dublin. It is Ireland's one and only Electro, Industrial and Dark Music Webzine.

Atrium Animae: 'Dies Irae' - CD Review
by Jamie Monahan

Should you ever find yourself in a position that you have to review a neoclassical album, here are a few pointers: Talk about the atmosphere and feel of the release while commenting on how they ignore dancefloor appeal, and by doing that limiting their exposure in favour of something more sublime. And of course, compare them to Dead Can Dance. Because Dead Can Dance are as far as your typical goth’s education in classical-ish music goes. See? It’s that easy.

Atrium Animae are one such band you’d approach reviewing their albums in such a manner. Their album Dies Irae sounds like it was recorded in a Cathedral in the pre-Reformation days when people went to mass not so much to renew their connection with God as to be reminded of the fact that they are disappointments in the eyes of the Almighty and the Church because they are only human. They do sound like Dead Can Dance, albeit a kind of Dead Can Dance that had all the hippie plucked out of it and beaten with a length of organ pipe. In fact, it’s much closer to the now defunct Ophelia’s Dream as Dies Irae won’t be going into folk territory any time soon, instead resting on the laurels of their fine education.

The whole album is laden with the sound of the end times where all hope had long since left the world with the setting sun. “Psalmus 57” is a song of remorse and despair, forever crying over the injustice of the world. “Psalmus 87” is much more reflective and balanced but moves like a metronome and broods like a mopeygoth who just finished their teen years. “Lacrimosa Dies” mourns the loss of a loved one with beautiful vocals and bell ringing in the background. “Signum Iudicii” sounds like it could have come from the soundtrack from a film such as Braveheart or Gladiator for a very tragic and moving scene where the bad guys kill off a number of innocent people to show how bad they are. In the meantime, the song still cries after the funeral and keeps it up into the wake.

“Sigillum Septimum” rises from out of the shadows only to weep for a better time and place as it poses in its Widow’s Weeds and you’re not sure if you want it to go on or just tell it enough already, as the song is quite a long one but does get a grip at the end. “Angelum Abyssi” tries to come to terms with everything, and in the end comes to a quite understanding about it all.

The album has a lot to offer and has superb vocals backed up by an orchestral way of thinking which means they don’t do things by halves. Definitely one for when a morose mood takes you and you’d rather stay in from the bright lights judging smiley faces.


Rating: 9/10