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Atolah : Relics

Well, its a nice album, this one! Atolah is an Australia-based band that plays a fuzzy, sludgy Stoner Doom that has a distinctive feature: It is devoid of any vocals. The only few words that can be heard are a funny and odd dialogue just at the opening of the album which is a 5 tracks EP, to be precise.

Again PsycheDOOMelic promotes an original and talented band. Atolah develop on 'Relics' some really good, volcanic, panzer-crushing Doom; straight from the cask, like an old oak aged traditional stout, thick underneath and creamy above... The beuverage is rather strong, a slight dizziness should be perfectly normal.

The five tracks are full of ardour. Buzzy bass, crunchy guitar, and an interesting and versatile drumming, that has either a creepy gloom or a dry, hard pounding sound. In both cases, there's always plenty of cymbals. Personally, I like that! Those are the only ingredients. No vocals. Why would you bother to sing when there is such a talent operating?

Atolah manage to expand its Doom to some hostile territories by the sole power of its clever compositions skill. Till the point that the lack of vocals seem quite natural and, at any rate, absolutely not repelling. 'Relics' is slow, dark and ominous, drenched in a sick groove that obsesses. 'Down It or Leave It' is the longest track and the most interesting (they all are anyway). It begins quietly: Wriggling strings and drums, nicely building a tension that explodes in a torrent of warm foaming mud. Discreet dissonances, meaty guitars, always persuasive drums. It's tribal and haunting all along. Think Electric Wizard without the tiring vocals full of useless effects; Sleep without the weak voice and you have it: Stoner Doom as it should always be.

The EP lasts about 30 minutes. I listened to 30 minutes long EPs that seemed to be much longer. 'Relics' is a hell of an album; be sure to pick it and enjoy the thick and creamy drink.

Reviewer's rating: 8.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Dead Leg
2. Relics
3. Down It or Leave It
4. Weedy Gonzales
5. El Duce

Duration : Approx. 29 minutes.

Visit the Atolah bandpage.

Reviewed on 23-12-2009 by Bertrand marchal
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