Thursday 28 April 2016

Atala - Shaman's Path Of The Serpent (Album Review)

Release date: May 20th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Shaman's Path Of The Serpent – Tracklisting

1.Gravity 09:46
2.Levity 08:31
3.King Soloman 05:18
4.Shape Shifter 08:15

Band Members:

Kyle Stratton (Guitar and Vocals)
Jeff Tedtaotao (Drums)
John Chavarria (Bass)


Following their 2014 self titled debut album, Atala return in stunning style with Shaman's Path Of The Serpent and this album marks a markedly different musical style from the band. While that debut album (produced by Scott Reeder) had an understandably distinct Kyuss feel to it with its brand of sweeping desert rock, this new album is more sprawling and decisively heavier than its predecessor.

Shaman's Path Of The Serpent is produced by Billy Anderson and his way of getting such sonic density out of the bands he has worked with (and that includes the likes of Neurosis, Sleep and Swans among many others) definitely works with Atala on this record. Bearing that in mind, it is the majestic and epic sound of Neurosis that appears to be a heavy influence on Atala this time around both in terms of how heavy and tribalistic the songs sound and just for the sheer depth of sound that occurs although Atala certainly have their own musical identity and it sounds absolutely crushing.

With only four tracks on the album, albeit the fact that theses are mammoth tracks, they certainly make themselves known in truly epic style as all the songs on the album are epic in both vision and their execution.

The album opens with the phenomenal Gravity and this sets the tone for this special album with its pummelling rhythms, emotive vocals and the right amount of melody running through the song, listening to it will put the listener in a trance with its hypnotising riffs and this continues all through the album with the other songs on the album, the colossal Levity, the bruising King Soloman and Shapeshifter, the monolithic commencement of the album sound just as sprawling and monstrous as its immense opening and despite the fact that the album is only a little over half an hour long, it feels a lot longer due to its epic stature and also means you will want to listen again immediately after it ends.

This is epic music that is achieved through some truly great musicianship and those vocals from singer/guitarist Kyle Stratton complement the music that is heavy, sprawling and emotionally powerful perfectly and Shaman's Path Of The Serpent is another fine addition to the catalogue of Atala's releases and it will be extremely interesting to see where the bands sound goes after this, but until then everyone can bask in the intensity and vastness of this collection of songs.

Words by Gavin Brown

Thanks to Clawhammer PR for the promo. Shaman's Path Of The Serpent will be available to buy from May 20th 2016 on CD/DD.