Atena: Shades Of Black Won't Bring Her Back

Eclectic modern metallers searching for the right spark

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Norwegian musicians have always made a proud fact of treading their own path.

On Shades Of Black… Atena have adopted that genre-splicing trait into the world of more contemporary metal. There are, er, shades of everything from tech-death to nu metal present on its nine tracks, and, although Atena are happy to borrow from the formula, they never settle too comfortably in one place.

Child Support mixes a djent groove with booming deathcore subdrops, and the various intermissions, like the mind-stalking Violet, come complete with a futuristic industrial edge. While dripping in menace and threat, it still manages to hold the attention with enough riffs and vocal hooks. If there was a criticism, then it would be that a song like Viole(n)t doesn’t quite translate to being much more than the sum of its parts.

And quite where Atena sit in terms of the ‘scene’ in general is unclear, but certainly their experimental, magpie-like approach to all things heavy is worth keeping an eye on.

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.