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Soriah with Ashkelon Sain: Atlan

Soriah, a Tuvan throat singer and an award winning ritualistic artist, has teamed with multi-instrumentalist Ashkelon Sain, to create their new album Atlan. Putting a label on this album is not easy but I would call this 'ambient drone' for lack of a better term. Lots of hand percussion and droning instrumentation is what you will find here, quite exotic and atmospheric and definitely ritualistic, almost primal in nature. This is eclectic music which you can probably tell from the instruments used, such as electric guitar, chimes igil, clay flute, sythesizers, bells, samples and byzaanchi.

Soriah's vocalizations are formed from the ancient Aztec language of Nahuatl as well as from traditional Tuvan chants. The layered walls of synths and subtle percussion melds well with Soriah's low throaty delivery, where his voice acts like another musical instrument in harmony with the ambient soundscapes.

The songs are very similar to one another and flow together well but I suppose that is one drawback I have with this album. There is not a lot of differentiation between the pieces, which I am sure was intentional on behalf of the musicians. However, there are subtle variations to be found like the intricate guitar work at the start of the title track, which carries through the entire song or the build up of percussion in the "Morguul" where layered vocals work rather nicely. The album's last track is the ominous "Amo Cahuit", an eerie soundscape of brooding synths and deep, memerizing vocals. Soriah really does have an interesting vocal technique, which is almost hypnotic if you are not careful.

That being said, ambient music is not really my cup of tea, so I am not sure how often I will listen to this album, but there are some nice melodies here and Soriah's voice is surely worth a listen. So, if you like music that has dreamlike qualities with heavy drone-like atmospherics and interesting vocals you can safely add one star to my rating.

Track Listing:
1. Yoallicuicatl
2. Cehui
3. Tonacayotica
4. Temictli Atlan
5. Citlalpol
6. Xopancuicatl
7. Atlan
8. Morguul
9. Borbak
10. Tona Atoyaatl
11. Amo Cahuit

Added: August 30th 2009
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1130
Language: english

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