I call you function, it’s a reference to formulaic happiness.
The last few months must have been pretty horrific for Atlas At Last. Compared to the DC trios selftitled debut EP from 2013, A Composition of Functions is a big leap into darker territories. Sonically the four songs are noisy, raw and brutal, to say the least. While its predecessor wasn’t necessarily a happy affair per se, it managed to pair walls of distorted guitars with great melodies and harmonies. This time, the melodies haven’t disappeared, they are just buried a lot deeper in the mix.
Nathaniel Hartten and Mike Radack have almost neglected their singing in favor of spoken or whispered passages and spine-shattering screaming. The lyrics are dark, twisted and full of metaphors that take a second reading to fully understand their meanings (yes, you need to read them!). Death and disappearance are reocurring topics. And the pain they cause are translated perfectly into the music.
It’s really hard to put into words how much the songs hurt and touch upon your emotional stability. They can drive you insane but compared to bands like the Locust, this is not pure noise and chaos. It’s raw power comes from the varying tempo, the change in dynamics, the unexpected breaks or the mid-tempo passages that drag your face across the floor until you want to surrender. The band won’t let you though. It’s a constant boxing fight were you are the defenseless punching ball.
I can’t say that I was expecting this. And that’s probably why this EP hits me so hard. But in all its brutal force lies beauty. And that’s why this record and this band needs to be heard! Massive!