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Vivien Lalu - 'Atomic Ark' (album stream) (PopMatters Exclusive)

Fans of expansive and triumphant arrangements, you know what to expect from Vivien Lalu -- meticulous progressive craftsmanship, all finished with a virtuoso panache.

Eight long years ago, fans of French metal maestro Vivien Lalu immersed themselves in the composer's successful solo debut, Oniric Metal. The progressive prowess and collaborations therein drew hearty applause from prog-metal aficionados in Europe and the US. On 10 September, Sensory Records releases Lalu's latest venture, Atomic Ark.

Composed entirely by Lalu, Atomic Ark sees the keyboard wizard joined by members of Dream Theater, Mekong Delta, Symphony X, and many other luminaries from the progressive rock and metal field for a 50-minute-plus jaunt of cinematic metal. The album is driven by Lalu's sense of fine-tuned technicality and majestic flair. The acoustic gentility of "Mirror Prison" collides with the head-banging hostility of "War on Animals"; classic rock riffing plows into downtuned ominousness on "Greed"; and "Revelations" provides a 20-minute symphony of multi-instrumental soloing, choral vocals, and ethereality.

Fans of expansive and triumphant arrangements, you know what to expect -- meticulous progressive craftsmanship, all finished with a virtuoso panache.

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