Former FIFTH ANGEL guitarist James Byrd is mostly known for his series of virtuosic Metal releases on Lion Music under the moniker ATLANTIS RISING. The band’s latest release, “Beyond The Pillars,” is actually a collection of old master tapes that singer Freddy Krumins happened to find sitting in a long-forgotten box. These twenty-five-year-old recordings predate the band’s 1990 debut such that several of the tracks on “Beyond The Pillars” ended up being reworked and included on the debut.

Looking at the two tracklists, it looks like the calmer, more melodic tracks from “Beyond The Pillars” were eventually released on the band’s self-titled album, while all the heavier tracks were lost to the ravages of time.It’s fortunate that Krumins unearthed these tapes, as they show a faster, heavier side of ATLANTIS RISING than what is typically seen in the band’s back catalogue. It’s important to consider that while these tracks are heavier, they are by no means rawer than the standard ATLANTIS RISING fare. Quick tracks like “Chasing The Shadows” show a high level of polish in the European Power Metal vein. “Fallen Warrior” is a slick mid-tempo song with a nice groove and some good Melodic Metal riffing courtesy of Byrd.

[spoiler]Byrd’s songwriting versatility shines through when the album transitions to lighter songs like “I Don’t Believe In Love.” The track sounds like a slightly more AOR version of early DOKKEN, resulting in a catchy, lighthearted piece that straddles the line between Melodic Rock and Metal. The rest of the album seems to follow in this vein, although the parade of lighter Melodic Metal is occasionally broken up by Power Metal tracks like “Eye Of The Storm.”

There is a truly unique song on the album called “Waiting In The Shadows,” which is performed in a style that can only be identified as “highly experimental.” The track plays with electronic effects and beats while Krumins does his best demonic Rob Halford expression. It’s a very bizarre track, but somehow it works, and the album does not suffer for its inclusion.


“Beyond The Pillars” runs the gamut from Melodic Rock to Power Metal, and should be a treat for any fan of the slick, hypermelodic side of Metal. Though the tapes are quite literally forgotten relics, the tracks contained therein are timeless and well worth the cost. Methinks Krumins and Byrd should check their basements and see if they can dig up any more lost gems.


  1. Chasing The Shadows
  2. Fallen Warrior
  3. I Don’t Believe In Love (Falling In Lust)
  4. Fly To The Sun
  5. On My Mind
  6. Waiting In The Shadows
  7. Remember Love
  8. Angel Of Mercy
  9. After The Fire
  10. Eye Of The Storm
  11. Stranger In The Night
  12. Let It Out
  13. Gotta Find You
  14. Requiem Atlantis

James Byrd -All Guitars
Freddy Krumins – Vocals
Ken Mary – Drums
Tim Wolf – Bass

Additional performances by:
J. Byrd – Bass Guitar
Krumins – Keyboards and percussion
Jeff Mills – Drums
Andrew Baldwin – Keyboards
Gary Thompson – Drums
Richard Stuverud – Drums

Password: Plotn08


James Byrd’s Atlantis Rising – Beyond the Pillars (2011)

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