Soriah with Ashkelon Sain "Eztica" CD
Enrique Ugalde aka Soriah with Ashkelon Sain return with their brand new journey entitled "Eztica", their second album on Projekt, and follow-up to their phenomenal "Atlan" from 2009. "Eztica" unfolds with euphoric and high-spirited "Iix" freshly blending energizing tribal percussions with gothic-infused Ashkelon Sain's guitars and Soriah's highly suggestive vocals, with lyrics, same as on "Atlan", in Aztec language of Nahuatl, all that backed by gorgeously floating grandeur washes. Absolutely magical, blissful and unique overture, amigos!!! Shorter "Ticochitlehua" dives straightly into deeper and mysterious primordial terrains with Soriah's whispering voices. Title composition "Eztica" opens with heavenly drifts and wordless voice magic and prayers with native feel, later more explosive textures invade along with Soriah's Tuvan throat-singing wizardry. Amazingly adventurous interactions of the ancient and the modern!!! Dark ritual "Nica Anahuatl" is finely enriched with choir-like sounds, various bells, percussions and deep organics. Bowed strings, flutes and expressive voices lead "Ehecatl", another deeply evocative genius performance!!! Shorter "Chocatiuh" blends rainy sounds with ethereal guitars and bowed stringed instruments of Tuva. Strong Ashkelon Sain's darkwave ingredients on "Ximehua" are masterfully melted with hypnotic tribal rhythms, voice magics and bowed strings to capture purely ecstatic goth/shamanic sonic experience!!! "Temicteopan" is the most exotically fragranced composition with significant fragile string magics and Soriah's whispers, a deeply mysterious one, blending Aztec and Tuvan musical traditions!!! "Xiuhcoatl" is another energizing and rhythm-infused masterpiece with all Soriah's and Ashkelon Sain's trademarking ingredients, it showcases again highly effective interplay of grandiose vocal performance, dramatic percussions and imaginative atmospherics, definitely one of the most highlighting compositions on this ride!!! Deeply evocative instrumental "Omeyocan" blends echoed nostalgic strings with suggestive native flute work. Field recordings introduce "Amochantzinco", where orchestrals are supported by hauntingly beautiful vocals, percussions, guitars, bowed strings and flutes, all uniquely melted in fresh palette of sounds and atmospheres, a truly majestic closer!!! The flow of this exotic sonic universe moves through many emotions to touch listeners deeply, "Eztica" is also more accessible due to its stronger darkwave approach when comparing to more mystically and ritually spiced "Atlan". To me, "Eztica" most likely doesn't top "Atlan", but it gets very very close to it and it grows on me with each listening session. Fascinating, galvanizing and magical sonics effectively join the cultural roots of Aztec and Central Asia with the present, all that portrayed by stunningly eye-catching artwork, one of its kind sonic and visual adventure!!!
Richard Gürtler (Oct 16, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)