Atala - Labyrinth Of Ashmedai album review

Sludge/doom missives direct from the California slums

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Atala come from a part of California where the sun blazes an excruciating heat, stray dogs roam the street and fights break out with no police intervention. “We live in the Wild West,” frontman Kyle Stratton jokes in their mini-doc for the album before disclosing that they once played a show in a meth house. So the disenchanted primal grit that you hear on Labyrinth Of Ashmedai? It’s all real. Produced by Billy Anderson, known for his work with Sleep and mastodon, Atla’s latest record takes no prisoners, putting its dusty boot to the throat of the kale-eating yogis of California. On Grains Of Sand amidst a tumult of sludge doom, Kyle roars. Death’s Dark Doom is the same avalanche of meaty, low-slung crunch, and later on the bittersweet clean-sung passage of I Am Legion offers a nod to desert rock like a lifeline through pure heaviness.