Power metal band Visions of Atlantis released its latest album, Pirates, this year. Released May 13 through Napalm Records, the 12-song offering came three years after the release of its then latest album, Wanderers (2019). The record’s musical and lyrical content offers something to like from beginning to end. That is evidenced in part through one of its early entries, ‘Master The Hurricane.’ One of the album’s singles, it will be discussed shortly. ‘Legion of the Seas,’ another of the record’s singles and one of its later entries, is another example of the record’s strength. It will be discussed a little later. ‘Mercy,’ which comes even later, is yet another notable addition to the album, showing what makes the record’s overall content engaging and entertaining. It will also be discussed later. When it and the other songs noted here are considered together, the whole makes Pirates a record that is full of musical booty. Yes, that awful pun was intended.
Pirates, the latest entry from Visions of Atlantis, is another successful offering from the veteran power metal band that will appeal to the band’s established audiences just as much as any power metal fan. That is evidenced in part through the early entry, ‘Master The Hurricane.’ The song’s musical arrangement immediately grips audiences with its stylistic comparison to works from both Epica and Sabaton. The strings, the choral style vocals, and the rock element all come together to make that clear, engaging, and entertaining approach and sound. The impact of the arrangement works with the song’s lyrical theme to make for even more engagement.
On the surface, the song’s lyrical theme sounds like it fits right in with the album’s title about everyone’s beloved sea-faring favorites. On a deeper level though, the lyrical theme is much more than that. It is a presentation that finds the song’s subject wondering how he/she will get through life’s most difficult times (IE the hurricane). This is made clear right from the song’s lead verse, which finds the song’s subject stating, “Walking the meadows of bliss/And flowers of love/Holding the moments of peace I cherish all of/Forgotten/Forsaken/I lost the way to my creek/Awaken/Enlighten/Where is the home that I seek?/Feeling the rays of sun/They’re fading away/Watching the world come undone/Salvation begins as you pray/Raging storms/Bring the rain/How can I master the hurricane/Solid stone turns to clay/I feel the way to my cove will fade away.” All of the nautical references, again, put the song in the vein of all the sea-faring themes throughout the album, but again, what audiences get here is the story of someone seeing things going from good to far from it and wondering how he or she will get through that storm. The rumination continues in the song’s second verse, which states, “Braving the fires of hate and embers of scorn/Razing the towns where my pain’s engraved in the walls.” From there a voice seemingly speaks to the subject, stating, “What is the trigger for all your fears/There is a secret I need to hear/How can you damage what you hold dear/I think I know/The answer is fear/You find the reason for all your pain/The relentless voice that is waging war in your head/And here you’re alone/Facing the storm/So please let it go.” This is that reminder that the storm we all face is often brought on by us and that the way to navigate it is to let go of what is causing it to happen. This uplifting overall message, paired with the song’s equally infectious musical arrangement makes the whole a strong example of what makes Pirates a welcome new offering from Visions of Atlantis.
‘Master The Hurricane’ is just one of the songs that serves to show Pirates’ strengths. ‘Legion of the Seas’ is another prime example of what the record has to offer. The musical arrangement featured in ‘Legion of the Seas’ is more familiar symphonic power metal for which the band has come to be known through its life. The dual vocals pair with the noted symphonic element and heavier leanings to make the arrangement in whole such an enjoyable presentation. It is just part of what makes this song notable. The song’s lyrical content makes for its own share of interest.
On the surface, the song comes across lyrically as just a story about being at sea, taking the risk of the unknown journey. The picture that the band paints through its lyrical content is o rich and vivid. On a deeper level though (and this is just this critic’s interpretation), the lyrical theme is about so much more than that. Rather, the theme is more of an allegory. That is inferred through the mention in the song’s lead verse, of staying the course and having no remorse. The second verse makes that seeming allegorical message even clearer as it states, “The journey’s now or never/Embrace your soul forever/You feel alive when cresting the waves/Just get yourself together/The crying times are over/And show the world the fine edge of your blade.” That mention of the crying times are over and the journey being now or never comes across as a message of encouragement. It tells listeners that they need to just get out and take risks in life, get past the bad times and just go for it. Again, this is just this critic’s interpretation. If in fact that is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark, then it is a wonderful, creative way for the band to deliver such an uplifting message. That and the song’s musical arrangement collectively make the song overall yet another strong example of what makes Pirates worth hearing. ‘Mercy’ is yet another mark of the album’s strength.
‘Mercy’ is another notable addition to Pirates in part because of its musical arrangement, which offers audiences more of the symphonic power metal that makes up the record’s body. The subtle stylistic variance in the arrangement from its counterparts keep it original and unique from those works. To that end, it does just enough to make it just as enjoyable as the rest of the album’s arrangements.
The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical content makes for its own share of engagement. That is because again, it comes across as being so allegorical in nature. On the surface, the content comes across as being a story about a pirate leader learning to lean more on a quality of mercy than just sheer brutality in everything. This as the pirate leader learns of his own crew’s intent to betray him. He sings of sharpening his blade and wanting to bring doom to them. However as the song progresses, the crew prays for mercy and states in the chorus that “There is more power in pity than courage in hate.” That single line is in itself so powerful. It comes across as that reminder that kindness and mercy is more powerful than the hate that we allow to fester in our minds. Again, this is such a creative way to seemingly deliver such a message. The seeming message even continues as the pirate captain sings late in the song, “Sailing across the sea/My heart as deep as the ocean/And the fire inside/has opened my eyes/I mist belong to the wise.” That understanding that he must belong to the wise is that restatement of needing clarity of mind and heart. It makes the song’s theme all the more powerful and resonant. The final verse adds even more as the captain sings, “The day that I give in to mercy/I give up the violence that evil adores/The day that my burden is drowning/Over and over and over/The waves kiss the shores/The day that I let go of struggle/The day I’m completing the cycle.” Once again, here is that realization of the power of wisdom and control versus hatred and anger. It is, overall, such a moving message that the band has incorporated into the song, and in such creative fashion once more. When this unique story and delivery is considered along with the song’s equally enjoyable musical arrangement, the whole makes fully clear why it is another important addition to Pirates’ body. When it and the other songs examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole becomes a presentation that will appeal equally to the band’s established audiences as it will to power metal and hard rock fans alike.
Pirates, the latest studio offering from Visions of Atlantis, is a successful new offering from the veteran power metal band. That is proven through its musical and lyrical content alike. The songs examined here make that fully clear. Between the unique power metal musical arrangements and the unique lyrical content that delivers messages that will resonate with plenty of audiences, the whole makes for so much that audiences will appreciate. It makes the album a wonderful musical treasure not just for Visions of Atlantis’ fans, but for power metal and hard rock fans alike.
Pirates is available now through Napalm Records. More information on Visions Of Atlantis’ new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
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