Chuck Schuldiner Project

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Atena - Shades Of Black Won't Bring Her Back

I was a little bit hesitant about deciding to review this record. After all - Shades Of Black Won't Bring Her Back is a title that wouldn't be out of place on a mid 2000s metalcore release. That being said - I was immediately pleased with the bands execution playing progressive and inherently fascinating death metal with all manner of nifty musical twists and turns keeping me engaged for many a spin. Filled with all manner of exciting noodling (Some of it almost nostalgic feeling) this is a brainy album that will keep you spinning time and time again.

While there are definitely moments here that sound like they could have come off a record released in 2011, the band still executes brilliantly. In a lot of ways the Vildjharta or even Meshuggah themed magic of these songs is endearing and speaks to the brilliance of the musicans. What's impressive to me is that even as Atena experiment with atonality and intervals that are just plain wrong, Shades Of Black Won't Bring Her Back remains refreshingly listenable. Though yes, it has its brutal moments and moments of sublime weirdness overall this is a record that passes well on first listen and then gets more interesting the deeper you delve.

There is something inherently charming about the bands staccato riffing and balance of light and dark. The angular high pitched riffs that are so immediately contrasted by plunging grooves help to give Shades Of Black Won't Bring Her Back definition and leave me smiling. That's part of the beauty of this blog - sometimes I pick up an album I never would have otherwise listened to and end up loving it - that's the case with this record. If you want modern progressive death metal at its finest, Atena is the band for you.

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