The domestic newspaper Dagbladet named the Norwegian band Atena a semi-exitic act in the Norwegian metal flora. Honestly, when I received the promo of their new album Subway Anthem, I did not know about anything about the quartet – but they quickly persuaded me that this album is one worth sharing. Here is my review of the album, which has been released on 29th September 2023.
Atena – About The Artists
Atena are a metalcore band from Norway. They have been founded in 2014 in Oslo and have released four albums so far. Their debut was the 2013 release Of Giants, while the last release has been Drowning Regrets & Lungs Filled With Water in 2020. This album also contained their most popular song so far on Spotify, Death is All I Think About. The four band members are Vebjorn Iversen (guitar), Jakob Skogli (vocals), Ulrik Lindstad (bass) and drummer Frederik Kasin.
Atena – Subway Anthem – Track by Track
The ten track album lasts 37 minutes.
1. Ultra Ultimate Opus Power
The first tunes of the first song tell you: simply calling the Norwegians a metalcore band would just not be right. They combine so many elements and styles – in the first minute of Ultra Ultimate Opus Power, they even sound a bit like a metal version of the German dance project scooter. The first track is rather short (2:35 minutes), but feels to be a very enjoyable listen.
2. Hard Day
Another factor why fans might get into Subway Anthem easily is that half of the songs have already been released as singles. One of them is Hard Day. I love the chorus, in which especially Jakob Skogil is doing an amazing balance of harder metal tunes and a very melodic performance. The stanzas come with quite some brutality and may thus attract lovers of other metal genres as well.
The opening of Bargain nicely illustrates how many facets the Nordic band can put into their music. They work with very present keyboard elements, the song feels very melodic. Only here and there the strumming guitars have some time to present themselves. The backing vocals, which feel like a choir, are excellently arranged as well.
4. Subway Anthem
The next song of the album is the title track. After the guitars had a rather relaxed presence, they are in the driver seat again. However, drum computer alike sections and quiet and thoughtful listens are part of Subway Anthem as well as hammering riffs. If you combine so many elements into one song, you sometimes tend to sound random. However, Atena does really great in here.
5. Poison Pure
No, you have not hit an obscure pop playlist. The first seconds of Poison Pure could also lead into a dance pop track. However, the guitars and the rap-alike shouting on the vocal side quickly tell you that you are not wrong. The chorus is contrasting with a very melodic, but also melancholic style.
6. Slip Away
All down and worn outI’ve never felt so blue I’m closing curtains But still a light pushes through
Again, Atena comes with some sort of surprise in this song. The very high, falsetto-alike vocals give the chorus a special touch. Again, the song beautifully walks through an dramatic plot. Another great listen.
7. Peeling Skin
After three single releases in a row, Peeling Skin opens a section of three unreleased tracks. There is a rather high proportion of shouting in this song, which later also has very melodic parts and finishes with a beautiful, string-alike fade out.
Leave opens with a slow, quiet part. It takes roughly 2:30 minutes, before the guitars break out and give the last minute of the song a metalcore touch. Before that, the Norwegians underline that they are excellent in creating an on point atmosphere.
The stanzas of Somebody sound like a melancholic pop-rock track. However, there is more rock power in the chorus. Nonetheless, this is another track in which Atena shows that they are exceptionally able to explore different sounds and elements and put them into a great composition.
10. Oh My
Oh My is taking a majestic, hymnic good-bye from the album. I already feel guilty that I introduced the band to you “just” as a metalcore band, somehow.
Atena – Subway Anthem – Spotify
Here is Subway Anthem on Spotify:
Atena – Subway Anthem – My View
The Subway Anthem is an amazing work. There are so many different kinds of rock, pop and metal sounds in these 37 minutes. Four people doing a wide range of sounds, which still somehow fit into one sound. Love it!
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