ATARAXIA – Lost Atlantis  

The intent of this project is, to quote the band, " The translation into music of the ancestral myth of the sunken land present in all the ancient scriptures of every faith, philosophy and country… to describe the origin of mankind through these left symbols and create a pagan opera that owns a deep sacral flavour". A substantial project to say the least, and the success is utterly subjective. Pagan and operatic it is, the latter which makes an historical study difficult to gauge. The Italian lyrics, operatically apt, but not the best for an historical telling, are delivered with powerful vocals and the music is very evocative. Classical guitars, flutes, drums and assorted electronically derived sounds and textures round out a rather simple and effective score, while Francesca Nicoli's very able voice soars thoughtfully above. Aperlae is particularly successful; it's the legend of a sunken area of Lycia where the ruined staircases provide pathways disappearing into the depths and houses who partially vanish in the ocean. Indeed, Ataraxia provide music mixed with storytelling and lingering memories and sentiment. The sacral flavours interject throughout, never giving a main theme, but always there, hinting to the religion of forgotten and shared histories. Occasionally there is a slightly too-heavy new-age feel (Agharti), though this is easily overlooked. H.P. Lovecraft would be proud of Fountains, telling of strange underwater beings, communicating in strange ways and always watching; a stronger electronic element takes over here, and Nicoli's vocals are quickly and clandestinely whispered, clearly representing the strange underwater beings. Lost Atlantis is an overall success, while some divergent influences (such as the occasional English lyrics and vaguely goth-rock influence of Mu-Land and Odupura) upset the "opera", and infer a loss of complete story, the album, as a musical collection, is excellent. The overall texture and aural theme is regained on the title track, and then a mediaeval plainsong-chant texture is adopted on the final two tracks, which sends the period for a bit of a change. However, the sheer creativity and obvious intelligence of the band is impressive, and the music they have wrought very worthy of notice and admiration.


review by: Phosphor

p+c 2000.
Label: Cruel Moon

Ataraxia Website
2000. Elektronski Zvuk