The Serpent's Lair
by Matt Howarth, Sonic Curiosity

This collaboration began with Roach assisting Metcalf (Ph.D.) in a formal research study to examine the effects of sound used as a shamanic strategy for healing and personal growth. These studies expanded to become this double CD.

Utilizing the sacred incarnation of the snake as viewed by many shamanic cultures (particularly in the Upper Amazon), Roach and Metcalf produce music that is moody and cosmic, ambient and tribal.

Roach's electronic stylings are in high form here, weaving and drifting like a shimmering cloudbank above a rainforest alive with Metcalf's shamanic percussives. These sinuous rhythms are complex and lush, resounding with beyond-ethereal qualities. The percussives contribute to the overall sound with as much presence as Roach's versatile synthetic and acoustic ambience.

The music is dense and haunting, capturing shamanic sensibilities and merging them with modern electronics to comfortably induce altered states of consciousness. While the percussives generate cyclic urgings, the astral electronics breathe and swoop, carrying the tribal ceremonies into the sky and beyond.

Some tracks involve vocal effects, lending a cavernesque aspect to the music which becomes heightened by the echoing withdrawal of the percussives.

Among the guest musicians on this 141 minute release are Jorge Reyes, Vidna Obmana, and Vir Unis.

The Serpent's Lair

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CD  $24.98 
ON SALE, $15.00 
The Serpent's Lair
Steve Roach, Byron Metcalf
2000 Projekt PRO107 (CD)
Reviewed by, AmbientVisions, Interface, Muze, NAPRA Review, Sonic Curiosity, The Raging Consciousness Desk

Beginning as a collaboration between Steve Roach and Byron Metcalf, the music on THE SERPENT'S LAIR evolved over the past year into an epic 2-CD set, augmented with a myriad of guests. This release has it all: Steve's ultra-soundworlds, hybrid grooves and magical production, combined with Byron's acoustic-organic tribal trance patterns. Aligning with themes of shamanic initiation found throughout the world, the music is rooted in the organic... the earth... the ancestors... It is here that one is confronted with all the essential elements of danger and possibility.
Disc 1: The Serpent's Lair
1. The Lair 12:14 
2. Rite of Passage 14:09 
3. Shedding the Skin 5:39 
4. Big Medicine 12:53 
5. Future TribeMP38:30 
6. Birthright 5:59 
7. Osmosis 4:04 
8. Egg Chamber Dreaming 8:53 
Disc 2: Offerings From the Underworld
1. Offering in Waves 10:55 
2. Impending Sense of Calm 9:03 
3. Cave Dwellers 23:08 
4. Primal Passage 4:47 
5. Serpent Clan 5:02 
6. Beating Heart of the Dragon Mother 6:50 
7. Ochua 9:26 

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