Atlantyca: To Nowhere And Beyond

French prog destined for somewhere.

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It begins with static white noise and ocean waves that hint at the drama to come, and for a debut album To Nowhere And Beyond is astonishingly accomplished. Formed around the central talents of French guitarist Julien Putigny and his bassist brother Maxime, Atlantyca would appear to be a studio-only project, which given the calibre of the material is somewhat disappointing.

Impressively though, their thoughtful approach to the lighter side of prog metal was enough to ensnare a variety of guest vocalists, notably Angra’s Edu Falaschi, King Kobra’s Paul Shortino and the ever-classy Andy Kuntz of Vanden Plas, who all added their own distinctive tones to the release.

The most striking aspect of To Nowhere And Beyond is that the band have managed to create a musical balance rarely seen on a first album. From the commercial the heavy riffs of Time After Time and the laid-back Eternity, the songs twist and turn through countless genres without them ever feeling strained or contrived.

The only real caveat is that without their own regular frontman they’re unlikely to transcend the bedroom proggers tag.