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Atena - Possessed album review

Norway’s eclectic metalcore bruisers hit too many shades

Cover art for Atena - Possessed album

Jokingly describing themselves on their merch as “true Norwegian black core” doesn’t tell the whole story of Atena, who offer far more than bullish metalcore with a sprinkling of atmosphere. After the judderingdeathcore breakdown of the title track comes the ethereal Confessional and catchy Lock Shut, with dulcet keys and sweetly sung vocals contrasting with the familiar chug. An operatic chorus backs Oil Rigs and Done With The Darkness throws a Japanese melody into the mix, but perhaps most leftfield of all is the West Coast-style rap sparring with the downtuned riffs and creepy static of Death Eater. The whingingposthardcore style vocals have a tendency to grate and while Atena’s willingness to push boundaries needs to be applauded, the hit-and-miss approach smacks of an untamed ambition throwing too many ideas at a wall just to see what sticks.

Rugby, Sean Bean and power ballad superfan Adam has been writing for Hammer since 2007, and has a bad habit of constructing sentences longer than most Dream Theater songs. Can usually be found cowering at the back of gigs in Bristol and Cardiff. Bruce Dickinson once called him a 'sad bastard'.