Already with "Oniric Metal" Vivien Lalu brought a breath of fresh air into the progmetal genre a few years ago. But "Atomic Ark" is without doubt the masterpiece of the French keyboarder. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, one might think, since his parents played in the Progband Polene in the seventies. Even though Lalu and his band - consisting of singer Martin LeMar (Mekong Delta, Tomorrowʼs Eve, Nachtgeschrei), bassist Mike LePond (Symphony X), guitarist Simone Mularoni (DGM) and drummer Virgil Donati (Planet X) - are always in the midst of greats like Dream Theater, Queensrÿche and Symphony X, you never get the feeling of listening to a flat plagiarism. On the contrary: The combination of hard riffs, big vocal melodies and atmospheric keyboards sounds absolutely fresh, epic and original. Never too playful, but still technically demanding. An album to which you can also listen the soundtrack works of Lalus. And the guest list isn't from bad parents either. For example, Lalu was able to win over Jens Johansson (Stratovarius), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie), Mike Andersson (Cloudscape) and Peter Wildoer (Darkane, James LaBrie) for contributions.
Top track: Revelations