Athlantis is the band/project of bass and keyboard player Steve Vawamas, also known for his work with Mastercastle, The Dogma, Shadows of Steel, and others. M.W.N.D. is their second album, the first in nine years. It also features, once more, excellent neo-classical guitar player Pier Gonella.
Essentially, M.W.N.D. is blend of classic melodic heavy metal with strong hints of power metal. Vawamas wrote all the songs and, honestly, I was surprised by the strength of the arrangements. He certainly has an ear for strong melodic lines, smooth pacing, and the importance of a steady rhythm section (after all he is the bass player). It's hard to doubt his skills or those of guitarist Gonella. Yet, vocalist Jack Spider is another surprise; he's especially strong and versatile. One Man, One Look, One Desire is just one song, probably the best here, that displays his impressive talent. (It doesn't hurt that, musically, this is also a simply great song.) Put him together with Mastercastle vocalist Giorgia Gueglio as on Faraway, he becomes unstoppable.
While this is mostly melodic metal, there's one song that is basically a melodic hard rock number, Dry Gin. It's also a rather humorous song as our singer finds himself in a surprising situation while under the influence. Think The Kinks' Lola and you have a clue.
This song also points to one weakness within M.W.N.D.. Some songs are unnecessarily too long. Dry Gin and Getaway could have dropped some of the chorus repetition and would have been better songs. Nevertheless, this does not distract from the whole, as M.W.N.D. is quite impressive throughout. It's a solid effort from very talented musicians. Easily recommended.
Bass player Steve Vawamas returns with his Athlantis project and M.W.N.D.. It's a fine platter of well-written and entertaining melodic heavy metal.
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