Atavist of Man

1. Lords of the Flame
2. Operation Mistletoe
3. Thee Imperial Wizard
4. Testi Svm Capri
5. Templars of the Black Sun
6. Fall of the 4th

Ronan - Vocals
Benjamin - Bass
Alexis - Drums
Christophe - Guitars

Open the Gates of Shambhala (EP 2009)


Co-released between Throatruiner Ṙecords, Boue Records, Duplicate Records, PsycheDOOMelic Records and Odio Sonoro.
Released on tape by Zugzwang Productions.
Vinyl gatefold double-LP and gatefold CD by De Arte Magica.
Jewel case CD by Mordgrimm.
Recorded in Vildé-Guingalan, France, from the 24th to the 31st of August, 2010

Released 21/5-2012
Reviewed 13/7-2012


Next up on the very long list of albums to review is french band Huata, with a name that can be either a region i Peru or the word for witch hunt in the breton language, the label mentions the latter so it would be fair to guesstimate that it is the reason for the name. Judging by the cover art one can suppose that the hunt was successful, the title of the debut album of this band is called the Atavist of Mann, I wonder if the title is referring to a desired return of the witch hunts after several generations of absence. Whatever the reson of the title and everything they are being compared in namedropping terms to bands like Black Sabbath and Cathedral and I suppose that isn’t really too far fetched considering the doomish appearance of the band looking at the graphical profile and titles of songs.

And what strikes you when listening to the band is the sense of doom and the atmospherical properties of all the songs. There are only six songs on this album and it still plays for more than an hour, half of the tracks easily pass the ten minute mark and they all blend together into a whole rather than feel like six songs on an album. The fact is that it is more like a story in six chapter than like an album of six songs, and it is a story taking you on a journey. A journey back in time, back to the medieval times maybe to Brittany where the forest is laden with a deep fog, everything is wet. The black death is at its peak and the smell of death and rotting flesh is to be felt everywhere you go in the wet mosses where the water gets through your rudimentary shoes and you are hunted by a posse who believes you are a witch or a helper to one. They have no problems with the wet as they can afford better shoes than you, and the faster you run the more they seem to catch up on you. It is an exciting story, maybe even one that makes you ill at ease at times and I think that in many parts this is more than a musical album, it is a story of your mind playing out in form of music. Of course all of this requires you to have the ability to narrate a story from the music, I have no real idea what it is about when the band has thought out the story but to me that doesn’t really matter as the story is in the eye of the beholder anyway.

I think this album is great, last time out I spoke of those surprises that makes the work we do for this website really worth it and this is another one of those albums where you expect nothing and get something brilliant which is just terrific, music that you can get through an entire bucketload of crap albums as the positive feel remains for a while after you are done with one of these even if you don’t play them. It is an album that reminds of the old of the doom genre but it is also modern in direction and production making it an album well worth checking out no matter the preference you have in music. For me, this is one album that has exceeded my expectations, brilliant is a good word for it.

So, an amazing story taking you on an adventure far and away, to a world not really safe or friendly but still fascinating and temptingly dark and exciting. I think you will do well in looking up Huata and if you have any sense of fantasy in your min you will find that it is more than just another doom/sludge or whatever the label called it, for me it is an adventure, a good one.



Label: Mordgrimm/Infektion PR
Three similar bands: Black Sabbath/Cathedral/Electric Wizard
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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