Album Review: Huata – Atavist Of Mann

Contributing to a French heavy music scene that has burgeoned in the last decade, Breton occultists Huata offer a full hour of drug-induced, ouija board-directed sludge and doom on their début full-length, Atavist of Mann. ‘Lord of the Flames’ stumbles through the opium den door resembling a doped-out Goatsnake, before melting in to a bean bag at the rear with an extended mid-section that is almost parlour-like in atmosphere, and akin to something from Opeth’s Damnation. It is here that Huata’s fondness for organs is most obvious, as well as on ‘Testi Sum Capri’ and ‘Templars of the Black Sun’, giving this record a melodic depth and a sinister, yet psychedelic, late Sixties vibe. Hope is a hard sell once the acid flashbacks start, and Huata’s menacing lumber offers paranoia and ill-ease at a dosage level not even available from Michael Jackson’s doctor.

The spirit of Electric Wizard is never far away and clearly holds a heavy sway over Huata, but this influence never spills over in to shameless plagiarism, and ‘Thee Imperial Wizard’ is a hugely impressive dedication to the men from Hardy country. Huata have produced a record that is likely as mature, emotional and intelligent as any in their field this year, and Atavist of Mann will likely be on a number of ‘record of the year’ lists when the winter returns.


About Stuart

I have been writing for about seven years, my only writing qualification is a poorly-deserved grade C in GCSE English Language. I write mainly on music and literature, but have also written about the politics of sport, for some reason. I generally listen to horrible music, so my reviews will invariably be of black metal, grindcore or noise bands. Interests include attempting to play ice hockey, relieving Oxfam charity shops of every last book that they receive, and becoming TOP DOG in the world of Polish football spread-betting.

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