Atala have a somewhat prestigious line-up, consisting of Kyle Stratton (Domiculum), John Chavarria (Sons of Serro) and Jeff Tedtaotao (Forever Came Calling).
Described as a “journey through the mind of…Kyle Stratton”, Shaman’s Path of the Serpent was recorded last May beneath the watchful eye of Billy Anderson (The Melvins, Mastodon).
Lying partway betwixt Earth and Sunn they’re too heavy for post rock and yet too lyrical to be tied to the grizzlier end of Doom.
Gravity has shadows of Ozzy and a wisp of the 70s amid the rolling crescendos and Sabbath-esque harmonies and yet they are more than that. Their sound exudes a power which is both immense and obvious yet subtly applied; the plodding, forward motion of a large animal entirely confident in its trajectory.
The album follows Gravity with Levity which is (ironically) the heavier of the tracks. However, unlike a lot of Doom they do not descend into growled and grizzly fuzz. Their sound retains a musical quality which is heavy and grounded yet simultaneously lyrical. There is lightness to be found within their depths even if it is the levity of sleep – removed from the cares of consciousness. Their guitars are rhythmic their drums pounding and semi-tribal pulling us into and out of each track before we are completely submerged.
King Soloman is almost industrial, reminiscent of a half-speed 9 Inch Nails, the lyrics encapsulating anger and melancholy in measured phrases.
“The more you know the more you hurt, the more you see the more you suffer. Just breathe.”
A search for emotional respite and a desire to shut out the noise of living.
This is not a standard stoner doom album. It is the desire for escapism but also the need to plumb the depths and take solace from the world inside your own head.
Shapeshifter completes our journey. A little lighter on its feet (comparatively speaking) but still as lost in the depths as the rest of the album which will be released in May this year. For those willing to travel, they are also down to play Doomfest in Maryland and have a full length U.S tour to accompany the album.