|CD REVIEW Huata|
Huata hail from the Breton regions, i.e. the Celtic part of France, Brittany (close to Normandy), and it means something like ‘witch hunt’. They did record a mini-album a couple of years ago, but the review on this album, Atavist Of Mann, concerns Huata’s first full length studio recording.
Atavist Of Mann goes further where Open The Gates Of Shambhala, their 2009-mini-recording, ended. The whole was originally recorded in about a week during August 2010 and the six songs have a total running time of sixty two minutes (three of them clocking over ten minutes). Opener “Lords Of The Flame” (7:36) immediately sets the right tone: Sludge / Stoner / Doom à la Electric Wizard, Goatsnake and Lord Of The Grave. It comes with addition of sixties / seventies-elements (like that Organ) (think: Black Widow, Black Sabbath, Coven etc.) as well as some ‘current’ elements from the nineties’ / 2000’s Sludge-oriented scene from the U.S.Eey (the likes of Unearthly Trance, Hail! Hornet or Ramesses).
This stuff sounds occult, psychedelic, haunting, gloomy, mesmerizing, ritualistic and trippy, with inclusion of some droning situations and hallucinogenic / psychotropic clouds of trans-spirituality. The latter has to do as well with the very limited and modest yet well-thought injection of some excerpts from movie soundtracks, especially from the seventies. This goes as well for the other songs, “Operation Mistletoe” (7:34; the most ‘rocking’ track on Atavist Of Mann), “Thee Imperial Wizard” (15:37; what an enormously droning-oppressive finale!), “Testi Svm Capri” (‘only’ 4:54, and the most ambient and ritual one, with its sublime yet suffocating keyboard-lines), “Templars Of The Black Sun” (13:55; very rough in sound and performance; an ‘undead’ version of British psychotropes Esoteric) and “Fall Of The 4th” (12:40; a perfect symbiosis of all former remarks, and the most ‘accessible’ [what’s in a word?...!] hymn on this full length). The band pleases us with mostly chilly, hypnotic and grim Obscurity from Deep Within. Other interfaces, very generally and open-mindedly selected: Om, Bloodiest, Pelican, Teeth Of Lions Rule The Divine, Sleep, Stumm, Orange Goblin, Faces Of Bayon, Ancestors, High On Fire and, especially and last but certainly not least: Ufomammut. Pleased?
Finally the production: just marvellous. It’s unpolished, distorted and sleazy, down-tuned yet oh so massive and colossal. …perfectly fitting to one of the best records within this genre this year!
Additional note: the CD-version gets released through Mordgrimm, the vinyl-edition through De Arte Magica, which is, in fact, a consortium drawn up by five labels, Mordgrimm, Throatruiner (which did release the debut mini-album on CD), Odio Sonoro, PsycheDoomelic and Boue Records, and the tape-edition, finally, gets released via Zugzwang Productions (which did release the mini on MC).