Tuesday, 26 April 2016

ATALA - Shaman's Path of the Serpent


ATALA is from California USA and comprises of:

Kyle Stratton - Guitar/Voc
Jeff Tedtaotao - Drums
John Chavarria - Bass

From Atala's bio

"They recorded their first album Atala under the mindful eye of Scott Reeder (KYUSS, THE OBSESSED). In support of their first, self-released album, they toured various states on the west coast of the United States. In May of 2015, they traveled to Portland, Oregon to record with renowned audio engineer Billy Anderson (Sleep, the Melvins, Mastodon) for what would become Shaman's Path of the Serpent.

ATALA have shared the stage with many great acts: 16, Coliseum, Green Jelly, and Karma to Burn. After being announced on the Maryland Doomfest in June and a full U.S. tour supporting their second release , 2016 looks to be ATALA's year of opportunity. Shaman's Path of the Serpent is set to release in May of 2016. This will be the album that will unleash ATALA's potential."


'Shaman's Path of the Serpent' is Atala's second offering, following a self titled release in 2014. I enjoyed 'Atala' but found the production a little tepid for my usually neanderthal tastes, maybe its because the band seemed to lean towards a stoner path?

Not so with  'Shaman's Path of the Serpent'. Here, Atala has planted their banner much further into doom territory, the slightly undernourished riffs of the first album, have gorged upon a diet of granite.
The opening track 'Gravity' sets the tone for the rest of the album. It's slow burning intro meanders like a hermit beginning a quest before the action begins and the heart really starts pumping. Great, epic doom, should have a story to tell, and I can't help feeling that this track would be a perfect accompaniment to Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower.' What I really like about this album is the fact that it doesn't sound like Black Sabbath. The songs aren't shrouded in layers of fuzz which means that the song writing and musicianship has to stand on their own merits, and stand proud they do with the added bonus of Kyle Strattons vocal delivery accompanying the music sublimely. There are no death grunts here, but neither are they too polished, instead the tone ebbs and flows as each tale unfolds.

Shaman's Path of the Serpent' is a huge step up from 'Atala' It is a mature, thoughtful album. One could even describe it as spiritual.