After being incredibly impressed by the sheer energy, uniqueness and passion that Atena put into their performance when I witnessed them on last year’s 1349 tour, I awaited new material from them with interest and needless to say, it did not disappoint.
Shades Of Black Won’t Bring Her Back is a ballsy release that plays on the band’s strengths, somehow harnessing the madness of one of their live shows into a hard-hitting and intense album. Clocking in at a mere 29 minutes, you barely even have time to catch your breath between tracks, with each song leaving its own unique impression on you.
One of the best elements of this album is the fact that although you do get the distinct impression that Atena are trying to make as much noise as they possibly can (which they have absolutely achieved!) the songs also have these great little injections of melody on occasion, which helps to divide them all up rather well indeed. The balance is just right; the songs are still as hard-hitting as they can possibly be, but the small melodic bits divide it all up well and help it to flow better – in particular, middle track Violet is a purely instrumental and all-round ‘quiet’ track before Atena bring the noise once more, and it really works.
One of the highlights of the album include the incredible Molly, which features a truly magnificent and versatile vocal line with shrieks, taunts, bellows, shouts and spoken sections, and the instrumentation is aggressively heavy for the most part with a few tiny little melodic and atmospheric twists for good measure.
This album is intense, to say the least. Atena have created something wonderful with Shades Of Black Won’t Bring Her Back – you’ll remember this one for all the right reasons.