Atala Post “Grains of Sand” Video; Labyrinth of Ashmedai Coming Soon

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 30th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

atala roadburn 2017 (Photo JJ Koczan)

High among the myriad pleasures offered at this year’s Roadburn festival in the Netherlands was the chance to see Twentynine Palms, California’s Atala play not one, but two sets (reviews here and here), both of them rife with new material from their forthcoming Labyrinth of Ashmedai album on Salt of the Earth Records. And among the new songs aired — cuts like “Death’s Dark Tomb” and “Infernal” — a decided standout was the raw thrust of “Grains of Sand,” for which the three-piece now present a corresponding video that also marks the reveal of the studio version of the song, which stands among their most aggressive and lumbering works to date.

Between their 2015 self-titled debut (review here) and its 2016 follow-up, Shaman’s Path of the Serpent (review here), the three-piece showed considerable sonic progression, and Labyrinth of Ashmedai would seem to hold that line. Produced once again by Billy Anderson, the third Atala long-player comes across as more sure of its direction and more confident in its approach than anything the band has done before, giving the impression that they’ve found the path they want to walk and are setting about leaving considerable footprints behind them as they go.

I’ll hope to have more on it as we get closer to the release — I’m still not sure of the exact date, but it can’t be too far off at this point — but you can check out the clip for “Grains of Sand” below, which gives the track a rehearsal-room showcase and recalls glory-days Crowbar videos in some of guitarist/vocalist Kyle Stratton‘s clawing at his own face and copious beardage. Good fun all the way around.

Enjoy:

Atala, “Grains of Sand” official video

Grains of Sand off the soon to be released Atala album. “Labyrinth of Ashmedai ” coming soon on Salt Of the Earth Records.

Filmed: Brooke Valls
Edited: Think Infinite Productions

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

Atala on Thee Facebooks

Atala on Bandcamp

Atala website

Salt of the Earth Records on Thee Facebooks

Salt of the Earth Records website

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Atala to Release Labyrinth of Ashmedai on Salt of the Earth Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

atala

Not saying I’ve heard it or anything, but Atala‘s new album, Labyrinth of Ashmedai, is indeed another progressive step for their sound. They made a pretty huge leap between their 2015 self-titled debut (review here) and last year’s Shaman’s Path of the Serpent (review here), and wound up finding a niche for themselves somewhere along the lines of cosmic doom and heavy, desert-infused psychedelics, but what the Billy Anderson-recorded tracks of Labyrinth of Ashmedai do is further tie their diverse influences together into a cohesive, new entirety that’s all the more the trio’s own.

Today, Connecticut-based imprint Salt of the Earth Records announces it’s picked up Atala to release Labyrinth of Ashmedai, and hints at future doings from the band including new videos — there are at least two forthcoming from what I hear — and an initial incursion to European shores set for this spring. Could one or more fest appearances be in the offing? It probably won’t be all that long before we find out.

In the meantime, here’s the album art by Kyle Stratton and a press release I wrote as circled back through the PR wire:

atala-labyrinth-of-ashmedai

ATALA Sign to Salt of the Earth Records

New Album ‘Labyrinth of Ashmedai’ Coming Soon!

High-desert-dwelling psychedelic crushers ATALA have signed with Salt of the Earth Records to release their upcoming full-length, Labyrinth of Ashmedai. The band toured both coasts to support their 2016 sophomore album, Shaman’s Path of the Serpent, and returned once more to the studio with Billy Anderson (Sleep, Neurosis, Acid King, etc.) to track the new collection, which will release this Spring in time to coincide with their first trip to Europe.

“I am very excited that Atala has signed on with Salt of the Earth Records,” says ATALA guitarist/vocalist Kyle Stratton, who also designed the album’s cover. “It’s great to be part of the family. Now we are labelmates with Scissorfight, Buzzard Canyon, When the Deadbolt Breaks, Ol’ Time Moonshine, and my favorites, Cortez. How cool is that?! This is really Some great company to be keeping, And We count ourselves very lucky to be part of this.”

Shaman’s Path of the Serpent represented a huge leap forward in sound from ATALA, and fans should expect no less from Labyrinth of Ashmedai. The Twentynine Palms-based trio remain committed to bringing together elements of post-metal and sandy-landscaped psychedelia for a progressive sonic brew unlike any other. Their time on the road has only made them stronger, and Labyrinth of Ashmedai sees them rise to the occasion of a crucial moment in their growth. Expect new heights and depths to be explored and for ATALA’s sound to be bigger and heavier than ever before.

Salt of the Earth label head Scott Harrington echoes Stratton’s sentiment: “I love ATALA. I love them as artists, I love them as people. And all of us here at Salt of the Earth Records couldn’t be prouder to have ATALA officially on our roster. Just wait till to you hear their new album. It’s a game changer, and a neck wrecker. 2017 is going to be an amazing year!”

Look for Labyrinth of Ashmedai to be released by Salt of the Earth Records in Spring 2017!

ATALA, Labyrinth of Ashmedai tracklist:
1. Grains of Sand
2. Tabernacle of
3. Deaths Dark Tomb
4. I am Legion
5. Wilted Leaf
6. Infernal

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

More details will be made public closer to the release, along with European tour dates, new videos and much more!

https://www.facebook.com/ataladesertrock/
https://atalarock.bandcamp.com/
https://www.atalarock.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SaltOfTheEarthRec/
https://www.saltoftheearthrecords.com/

Atala, Shaman’s Path of the Serpent (2016)

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Atala Stream Shaman’s Path of the Serpent in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on May 16th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

atala (Photo by Matt Hall)

California’s Atala release their second album, Shaman’s Path of the Serpent, this Friday, May 20. If the cover art looks familiar, it might be because the Billy Anderson-produced record has already been reviewed in this space, but the story basically goes that I got asked if I wanted to do the full-album stream as well, and the truth is there’s more to say about the progressive and atmospheric leap the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Kyle Stratton (also a tattoo artist), bassist John Chavarria and drummer Jeff Tedtaotao make with these four songs, so yeah, I’m down.

As previously noted, it’s been just about a year since Atala made their self-titled debut (review here), and Shaman’s Path of the Serpent works not only as a forward step, but on a completely different scale, borrowing echoing atmospheric largesse from the likes of Deftones and driving it out to the desert with aggression in mind. Even upbeat stretches atala shamans path of the serpentlike the shuffle of second cut “Levity” retain an overarching air of threat, and from the beginning of 10-minute opener and longest cut (immediate points) “Gravity,” its beginning guitar reminiscent of Tool, there’s a rolling doom lumber that feels tonally kin to Pallbearer but made much more Atala‘s own through Stratton‘s vocals and the interplay of varied atmospheres as the blown-out thrust of “King Solomon” and churning crush of “Shapeshifter” continue to build on what the band accomplishes with the first two tracks until all that’s left is noise.

Like I said, Shaman’s Path of the Serpent has already been reviewed, so I don’t want to retread, but consider this post an emphasis on how pivotal and how blazingly quick their growth has been. The first record operated in a straightforward heavy rock style, more barroom than darkened parking lot, and while tracks were constructed on a solid foundation of songwriting, there was little of the kind of scope that even “Gravity” brings at the open, let alone anything that follows. Its airier patience is something that comes with little foreshadow, and as “Shapeshifter” pulls itself apart at the end, there is nothing about that moment that isn’t Atala‘s own, and it puts one final exclamation point on how far the band has come with what’s still just their sophomore full-length.

Atala are on tour next month, headed east to play Maryland Doom Fest 2016 among other live dates. I was dying to know more about what was driving the progression on Shaman’s Path of the Serpent, so reached out to Stratton to get the scoop. You’ll find his comments, the tour dates and the album preorder link under the player below, on which you can stream the album in its entirety.

Please enjoy:

Kyle Stratton on working with Billy Anderson:

On this album, Shaman’s Path of the Serpent, we wanted to do something heavy in a spiritual sense. Lyrically, I was writing about transcending life through death to a spiritual rebirth. With the subject matter I wanted to express, we knew the vocals would be soft in order to evoke a trance-like state, so we wanted the music to come across as very dark and heavy to give the feeling of crossing over to the other side of existence. We choose Billy Anderson because he is an expert at capturing very heavy tones. After speaking with him through emails and getting his feedback on the demos, we knew he was the dude.

The recording process was amazing. Billy really came in with a good idea of what he wanted to do and we came in prepared. It was a mold. We recorded the whole album in four very long days. We worked 16 to 18 hour days, went to sleep then woke up and did it again. Billy even had ideas for vocal melodies and would play them on guitar so I could sing to them. He also laid some extra guitar tracks, and he did the monk chants on the end of the album. I feel he really brought a lot to the plate and we are very grateful to have such a great album because of it. Hopefully he will be on board for the next one.

Atala on tour:
06.18 Scottsdale AZ The Rogue Bar
06.19 Lubbock TX Depot Obar
06.21 St. Louis MO Fubar
06.22 Lakewood OH The Foundry
06.24 Frederick MD Maryland Doom Fest
06.27 Spartanburg SC Ground Zero
06.28 Birmingham AL The Nick
06.29 Fayetteville AR Nomad’s
06.30 Dallas TX Reno’s Chop Shop
07.01 El Paso TX Mesa Music Hall
07.02 Bisbee AZ The Quarry
07.03 Riverside CA PBW

Shaman’s Path of the Serpent preorder

Atala on Thee Facebooks

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Atala Premiere “Gravity”; Shaman’s Path of the Serpent Available to Preorder

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 12th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

atala

Desert-dwelling trio Atala release their new album, Shaman’s Path of the Serpent, on May 20. With the returning lineup of guitarist/vocalist Kyle Stratton, bassist John Chavarria and drummer Jeff Tedtaotao, it’s a 32-minute four-songer that might lead one to wonder just what happened to the band between their 2015 self-titled debut (review here) and this second album, arriving about a year after they took the first record on the road. There is a stark difference in sound between the two releases, the prior outing having been produced by Scott Reeder and finding the trio exploring desert rock roots in a vaguely sludgy context, some harsher vocals worked in amid familiar rhythmic turns and driving heavy rock. Recorded in Oregon with Billy Anderson when they went on the aforementioned tour, Shaman’s Path of the Serpent is stylistically bolder and enacts a much larger sonic space, still capable of pushing into more caustic territory, as “King Solomon” shows, but more atmospheric on the whole, more patient and fluid. Perhaps with the first outing under their collective belt, they were able to gain a clearer picture of what they wanted their sound to do, or maybe Shaman’s Path of the Serpent will be a stylistic one-off. Either way, it’s a radical departure from where they were last year and, especially with the confidence they display throughout, one that suits them remarkably well.

Opener “Gravity” is the longest track on the album (immediate points) at 10 minutes flat, and it unfolds with echoing lines of prog-metal guitar, setting an ambient impression right away upon which the rest of the record continues to build. There’s a post-metallic element at play in the slow-rolling rhythm, but a vocal hook keeps the proceedings relatively grounded. A slowdown in the opener’s second half pushes into more cavernous fare, and they build back up to round out the track on a fittingly weighted note. Ultimately, “Levity” atala shamans path of the serpentfollows suit in its atmosphere, but between the blown-out vocals post-Electric Wizard and an Uncle Acid-style swinging riff, it does much to increase the album’s scope all the same, its post-midpoint cut in tempo leading to an open-spaced bridge and satisfying build topped by Stratton‘s echoing vocals, layered to rich effect. When they bring “Levity” back to its chorus, it gives a sense of structure to what seems to have long ago left that behind, and the percussive finish presages the heavier portions of “King Solomon” to come, which as the most abrasive stretches on Shaman’s Path of the Serpent, come across as driven more by Neurosis-style impulses than anything that’s come out of the desert in the last couple decades. This fervency comes offset by quieter, spacious parts, and where much of the long-player is geared toward a fluid overarching vibe, “King Solomon” feels more bent on basking in the contrast.

All the better to suit the scope of Shaman’s Path of the Serpent as a whole, which closer “Shapeshifter” continues to expand. In a way not entirely unlike the 10-minute “Sun Worship” from Atala, it finishes the outing with a particular fullness of sound, but from the warmth in Chavarria‘s bass to the push in the guitar tone that follows, it also emphasizes how far Atala have come in such a short time. There’s something foreboding lurking beneath “Shapeshifter”‘s early going, and it gradually comes forward so that by about five minutes in, the band are working at a slow crawl with far-back vocals to enact the biggest-sounding movement of the entire record. Unlike “Levity,” they make it pretty clear they’re not pulling this one back to any kind of hook once it’s gone, and for doing so, they make themselves even less adherent to a single methodology. Taken front to back, Shaman’s Path of the Serpent would seem to have been the result of a conscious shift in approach on the part of Atala, since, played next to their debut they’re barely recognizable as the same group. I won’t decry what they were able to accomplish last time out, but among the expectations I had for a follow-up, the kind of reach they show throughout these four tracks utterly surpasses them.

Please enjoy “Gravity” on the player below, followed by the dates and cities for Atala‘s upcoming tour, as well as the preorder link for Shaman’s Path of the Serpent.

Dig:

ATALA’s Shaman’s Path of the Serpent encapsulates the raw and mature essence of the band today. The album is a journey through the mind of guitarist/vocalist Kyle Stratton. Lord of Heaviness Billy Anderson (SLEEP, MELVINS, MASTODON) engineered the album, capturing the raw emotion and sonic heft that the band delivers in speaking to the listener. Shaman’s Path of the Serpent will leave the listener wondering if Stratton is lamenting the idea of death, reveling in the joy of its inevitability.

ATALA will embark on a U.S. tour in support of Shaman’s Path of the Serpent. Confirmed dates are below. Stay tuned for venue confirmations and additional dates!

ATALA on tour:
05.20 Bend, OR
05.21 Stockton, CA
06.18 Mesa, AZ
06.19 Albuquerque, NM
06.20 Oklahoma City, OK
06.21 St. Louis, MO
06.22 Pittsburgh, PA
06.24 Maryland Doom Fest, Frederick, MD
06.27 Charlotte, NC
06.28 Nashville, TN
06.30 Dallas, TX
07.01 El Paso, TX
07.02 Bisbee, AZ
07.03 Temecula, CA

Shaman’s Path of the Serpent preorder

Atala on Thee Facebooks

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Atala Announce Shaman’s Path of the Serpent for May Release

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 16th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

atala

Californian heavy rockers Atala are making their way east this summer to take part in the Maryland Doom Fest on June 24. They’ll do so having newly-released Shaman’s Path of the Serpent, the follow-up to their 2014 self-titled debut (review here). To the best of my knowledge, this is the EP they recorded with Billy Anderson prior to heading out on a West Coast run last summer. Not that Atala were hurting for sonic heft before, as the record showed, but I’d expect with Anderson at the board they’re going to up their game in that regard.

As a preview of desert sludge to come, Atala have posted a new video for the eight-minute stomper “Levity,” which you can see below, under the info from the PR wire and the cities and dates for the upcoming tour. Have at it:

atala shamans path of the serpent

U.S. Desert Rockers ATALA to Release ‘Shaman’s Path of the Serpent’ in May

California Desert/Stoner Rock Heavies ATALA will release Shaman’s Path of the Serpent on May 20. The band has released an official video for album cut “Levity.”

Shaman’s Path of the Serpent is available for pre-order at http://www.atalarock.com/store.

ATALA’s Shaman’s Path of the Serpent encapsulates the raw and mature essence of the band today. The album is a journey through the mind of guitarist/vocalist Kyle Stratton. Lord of Heaviness Billy Anderson (SLEEP, MELVINS, MASTODON) engineered the album, capturing the raw emotion and sonic heft that the band delivers in speaking to the listener. Shaman’s Path of the Serpent will leave the listener wondering if Stratton is lamenting the idea of death, reveling in the joy of its inevitability.

Track List:

1. Gravity
2. Levity
3. King Soloman
4. Shapeshifter

ATALA will embark on a U.S. tour in support of Shaman’s Path of the Serpent. Confirmed dates are below. Stay tuned for venue confirmations and additional dates!

ATALA on tour:
05.20 Bend, OR
05.21 Stockton, CA
06.18 Mesa, AZ
06.19 Albuquerque, NM
06.20 Oklahoma City, OK
06.21 St. Louis, MO
06.22 Pittsburgh, PA
06.24 Maryland Doom Fest, Frederick, MD
06.27 Charlotte, NC
06.28 Nashville, TN
06.30 Dallas, TX
07.01 El Paso, TX
07.02 Bisbee, AZ
07.03 Temecula, CA

http://www.atalarock.com/store
https://twitter.com/atalaDesertRock
https://www.facebook.com/ataladesertrock/

Atala, “Levity” official video

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