Atala – Labyrinth of Ashmedai


I really dug the second album from this California desert sludge outfit, which was produced by none other than Billy Anderson—and he’s back behind the dials for this one. With six tracks spanning just less than 36 minutes, ’tis not a lengthy listen, although Atala do manage to squeeze in a couple eight-minute epics.

“Grains of Sand” kicks things off with a rolling post-sludge passage that recalls Neurosis, particularly in the vocal department, with a few slow ‘n heavy Saint Vitus riffs thrown in for good measure. While they don’t specify whose tabernacle it is, “Tabernacle Of” is a pretty decent doomy number, with some more gritty Chandler-style guitar riffs along with a vicious vocal tradeoff. Tabarnak!

“Death’s Dark Tomb,” the first eight-minute number, sounds sorta like Sleep, Neurosis and Zoroaster went into the desert and dropped acid together. Some trippy, heavy shit, maaaan! “Infernal” takes a slightly lighter approach, with a chorus and vocal that sounds sorta like a heavier Danzig tune before veering off into a series of slow, sludgy breakdowns somewhere around the six-minute mark, ultimately ending on a lighter note.

In between, “I Am Legion” adds a layer of sickly sweet vocals to its sludgy concoction, which only serves to enhance the mixture. “Wilted Leaf” is a sticky, sludgy, stoner/doom epic that never tasted so sweet. Man, if you’re still sleeping on this band, its time to wake dafuq up!

Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for

8.5 Rating