his past month my player was flooded with all sorts of tunes coming from France and I have to tell you that so far there is no single French band that sounds remotely bad. MARS RED SKY, VERDUN, BARABBAS and now HUATA showcase some of the best material I’ve heard the last couple of years and they are all French! Talking about French revolution ha?
Enough with the intro! Now, pay attention here folks because this review is about a band that is going to be huge. Although I don’t like what Roadburn Fest is turning into, the fact that HUATA is invited to this year’s Roadburn right from their debut, should provide some sort of evidence that this band is for real!
Slow, bone-crashing, Satan worshiping, dope infused, doom is their game and they play it good! HUATA’s most obvious influence is ELECTRIC WIZARD and I would say it’s a quite strong one (listen to the intro of “Thee Imperial Wizard” for example). Yet they do it in a non-provocative way and I think it won’t cause discomfort to anyone, more importantly to the fans of ELECTRIC WIZARD. The band also seems to respect the experimental spirit of acts such as RAMESSES, while THE WOUNDED KINGS guitar riffs start to become a necessary influence for any contemporary doom band.
My complements should go to the amazing vocals (that sound like a more approachable version of Oborn’s style) and the smart use of the Hammond organ. Needless to say that guitar riffs are catchy as hell, dirtier than a swamp and heavy as a mammoth.
To be totally honest here “Atavist of Mann” is more like a diamond in the rough. There are some minor things I didn’t like but most importantly I wasn’t quite happy with the fact that there are many dead periods. I believe that all songs could afford being 2-3 minutes shorter. Nevertheless, I am quite certain that HUATA will find the perfect balance between atmosphere and heavy metal action.Until then I will listen to “Lords of the Flame” – a premature nomination for 2012 best doom song – together with “Fall of the 4th” and I’ll be waiting with a burning anticipation for some new material.