Album Review: The Eightfold Path By Dead Shrine

Dead Shrine is a heavy psychedelic band from Hamilton, New Zealand, but the band is not a band in the traditional sense as it is a project written, recorded, mixed, and produced by Craig Williamson. The cool thing is that you’d never know it by listening to The Eightfold Path, released on February 24th, 2023.

About The Eightfold Path

As mentioned above, Dead Shrine is a one-man project you’d never realize was just one guy. The songs, the performances, and the recordings all point to several people putting in their styles and influences, which shows that Craig can create interesting parts without any outside interference.

Standout Tracks

Dead Shrine chose “The Formless Soul” to kick the album off. As with much of this album, a powerful groove is felt as much as it is heard. The vocal work reminds me of the sound Vince Green achieves in THAL, and the riffs are full of movement and bounce.

“As Pharaohs Rise” is the coolest track on this album, and in my opinion, literally every second of the song is incredibly good. There is an immense sense of groove that keeps my head bobbing and my leg bouncing, as well as killer riffs, excellent vocal work, and a superb wah-soaked lead. Craig also adds in my all-time favorite guitar effect toward the end, the almighty flange; it’s only used for a few seconds, but it’s placed perfectly.

“Enshrined” is the next song in the order and brings things down a bit, but only a bit. There is still a solid groove factor, but it’s slowed down compared to “As Pharaohs Rise,” particularly during the verse sections. I dig the vocal effects used in both of these songs, as Craig didn’t overuse them, and their placement adds to the overall vibe of both tracks.

The last song is called “Incantations Call,” whose intro reminds me of one of the songs featured in an episode of Sons of Anarchy, and it runs underneath a sizable chunk of the song. There are many psychedelic elements, great riffs, and the best vocal performances on the album. I honestly wish more of the tracks were this good, as it stands on equal footing with “As Pharaohs Rise.”

Final Thoughts

Dead Shrine is a cool project, as all 8 songs are well-written and have excellent production value. The one drawback that sticks out is that the tempo didn’t change much, so some of the songs felt a little too similar. However, this didn’t change the fact that I enjoyed the entire record, and I believe you will also. It’s up on Bandcamp right now, so head over to hear it yourself! Enjoy!

Support Dead Shrine by checking out their Bandcamp or finding them on Facebook.

This review was written by Tom Hanno, who has been writing reviews for the last 7 years but has been sharing his love of music for the majority of his life. Originally starting out at the now defunct Chimera Magazine, he is currently contributing to Doomed and Stoned, The Sleeping Shaman, The Doom Charts, Tom’s Reviews, and The Third Eye. Read more of Tom’s reviews by checking out his Linktree.

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