I’m going to be honest with you: I really, really like this album. I’ve gone back to it time and again since hearing it early this year, and doing so has brought me nothing but satisfaction. The Wounded Kings are a bright spot on the UK‘s hope for the doomed future. I felt that way with 2008′s Embrace of the Narrow House, and I feel that way with their I Hate Records debut, The Shadow Over Atlantis.
Not only is the record cohesive sonically and ideologically, but multi-instrumentalist Steve Mills and guitarist/bassist/vocalist George Birch inflict an atmosphere so dense that it affects your mood for the rest of the day. There’s plenty of doom out there that’s dreary, but The Wounded Kings go beyond the melancholic, plunging the depths of Lovecraftian terror and arising therefrom with a hellacious beauty in tow. “The Swirling Mist” and “The Sons of Belial” are more rituals than songs.
The Shadow Over Atlantis also marks the end of an era for The Wounded Kings, as they’ve since gone on to include a full-time bassist and drummer in Luke Taylor and Nick Collings (respectively). Already this new lineup has shown its prowess on the An Introduction to the Black Arts split LP with Cough, and with their increased ability to play live now that they’re a complete band, The Wounded Kings feel like they’re just getting started. Let’s hope that’s the case.