Monday, 19 January 2015

Aathma - Deadly Lake EP (Review)

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 28/4/2014
Label: Independent

‘Deadly Lake’ LP//DD track listing:

1). Deadly Lake
2). Valpur (Woods Session)
3). In the Deap Dark Woods (Woods Session)
4). G.O.D. (Woods Session)

Aathma is:

Juan | Vocals, Guitars, Synth
Mario | Bass (Track 1)
Alex | Drums (Track 1)
Ricky | Bass, Drums (Tracks 2-4)


That Aathma are not bigger than they are is one of the injustices of the metal world. Although this Spanish outfit have been around for eight years, releasing two full lengths in 2009 and 2011 and sharing the stage with such bands as A Storm of Light and Minsk, they are yet to break through to the consciousness of many a metal head. Indeed, I only became acquainted with their phenomenal brand of psychedelic doom when I attended a Scott Kelly and The Road Home gig in Madrid almost a year ago, where the main man of Aathma, Juan Dominguez, was supporting as a solo act. This compelled me to explore their discography and witness a mesmerising performance of theirs in a small club in the port city of Vigo. Having waited a while to get the ‘Deadly Lake’ EP, I wasn't disappointed when I finally gave it a spin.

The EP acts as a guide to the past and present of Aathma – the first side solely contains the sprawling title track, while the reverse has three songs originally on the Woods demo released in 2008. So in effect, we are only getting one new song – but a hell of a song it is, all things considered, and the most ambitious and exciting thing the band has attempted.

Juan Dominguez's song writing abilities have come on tremendously; compared to the debut album ‘The Call of Shiva’, where occasionally the riffs went wandering without purpose, the twelve minutes of ‘Deadly Lake’ flow wonderfully. From the Meshuggah-like off-kilter riff that kicks things off, to the cacophonous drum breakdown not unlike their idols Neurosis on ‘Through Silver in Blood’ that concludes the song, ‘Deadly Lake’ is a fantastic ride from start to finish. Side two has its merits too, serving to show how far they have come in the life of the band yet also highly enjoyable in its own right, but you really get your money's worth for the title track alone.

Highly recommended for fans of the aforementioned bands, and also Gojira and Baroness.

Words by: Jack Taylor

You can pick up a LP copy here.

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