Atala Delivers Mesmerizing Heaviness on New EP


Atala is a desert rock power trio from Palm Desert, California. Its members are Kyle Stratton on vocals and guitar, John Chavarria on bass, and Jeff Tedtaotao on drums. All are seasoned, veteran musicians with a deep appreciation for pure, heavy music.

After the release of their self-titled debut album last year, the group seeks to cement their musical presence this year with their sophomore album Shaman’s Path of the Serpent. It’s out now and available for all listeners to get lost within its hypnotic sounds.

Atala’s Follow Up EP Drips Heaviness

The EP opens with “Gravity,” which kicks things off with distorted, buzzing guitar riffs and throbbing bass riffs. Buried under them are sporadic drumbeats and cymbal crashes that become constant after 1:20. Shortly later, the song’s volume increases as the guitar and bass riffs continue dredging forward.

Meanwhile, Stratton’s ghostly, moaning vocals add an eerie touch. Past the seven-minute mark, the tempo steadily becomes more languid and listless. The riffs, however, get grittier. As the song reaches its conclusion, it grows softer and sluggish, fading away like a dying man’s heartbeat until it finally stops.

The second track “Levity” begins with deep, vibrating feedback and a crescendo of ride cymbal taps. Then, it’s overtaken by driving guitar riffs, pulsing, groove-laden bass lines, and loud drumbeats. The drums coalesce with the bass lines and form a dense, thick rhythm.

Concurrently, Stratton delivers a series of howling vocals that sharpen the song’s brooding mood. As it continues, the pace goes back and forth between slow and rapid speeds. The shifts supply a nice dose of vigor to the song while still maintaining its initial heaviness.

Next, there’s “King Soloman,” another track with alternating elements. It starts out soft with wailing vocals and echoing guitar riffs loaded with reverb. One minute into the song, it’s louder, the vocals become more aggressive and growled, and the riffs get deeper, heavier, and more fuzz-filled. Shifts between the two modes are prevalent throughout the song.

All the while, Chavarria and Tedtaotao produce the rhythmic backbone of this piece with resonant bass lines and pounding drumbeats and clanging cymbal crashes. These aspects, along with the lethargic tempo, gives the song a somber, haunting tone.

With the closing track “Shape Shifter,” the album ends as it begins: full of drowning, distorted noise. Tedtaotao fills the background with booming drums and cymbals. Juxtaposed to them are pulsating bass riffs loaded with flowing grooves courtesy of Chavarria. Added to the mix are jagged, fuzzy guitar riffs and Stratton’s melodic, wailing vocals. Combined, they create gushing waves of powerful, rousing sounds that permeate the entirety of this song. It ends with a long, stretched fade-out full of fluctuating reverb.

With Shaman’s Path of the Serpent, Atala takes their unique sound to a higher level and displays the subtle beauty hidden within heavy, enthralling noise.

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