Call me OCD, but the thing that bothers me the most about that album is the fact that the arms of the girl on the cover are pretty much the only thing that isn’t white on her body. I know it’s only a band name, and it’s maybe not even a representation of the Greek Goddess Athena, but still I waste way too much time thinking about this. Let’s move on.
The self-titled album is in more than one way different than their previous one, Astrodrama, which was pretty good overall but lacked certain things to become memorable. First of all, the band has quite drastically departed with their previous sound: no more harsh singing, rather a more pronounced focus on vocal harmonies, and their music sound definitively more alternative than the core sound of Astrodrama. That’s a quite rare sight these days, a band leaving the core sound.
Some novel ideas are welcome: the more ambient parts, like the opening track’s vocal-only trip, psychedelic parts, drone parts, and samplings are all things that are pretty cool to hear. I remember that on Astrodrama, the clean singing was a weak point, however, with now pretty much only that a greater attention has been put in it, and I guess that they worked on their vocal technique too.
With a greater tendency towards psychedelic, experimental metal, better vocals and a still great musicianship, it’s hard not to recommend the album. While Astrodrama seemed to lack creativity, except in the exceptionally good Esoteric Allusions suite (songs 3 and 4), White Arms of Athena doesn’t. Each song feels new and the album is rarely repetitive, and when it is, it’s for a purpose. The 11-minute psychedelic jam This Transition, for example, slowly builds up in its first half to its first verse, which is dreamy and relaxed.
That’s an album I definitely will be jamming again soon! I hope you do too!