Atala – The Bearer of Light


Maybe it’s because they’re from the middle of nowhere, but I feel that California desert doom trio Atala never gets the respect they deserve. These guys play the kind of doom that Saint Vitus made famous, and their last couple records were produced by the likes of Scott Reeder and Billy Anderson… but you still don’t really hear that much about them.  Now on their fourth full-length album, this outfit is heading across the U.S. to play Maryland Doom Fest in June. You would be remiss to miss them…

The Bearer of Light begins with the desolation of “Desolate Lands,” a four-and-a-half-minute slab of fuzz-laden doom that gets yer head nodding right from the opening riff. The Vitus is strong with this one, although there are also shades of Indiana bashers Apostle of Solitude. A big, meaty, Dave Chandler-style riff drives the six-minute “Upon the Altar,” which adds a tortured, soaring vocal to the mix. The heavy noddin’ head trippin’ continues on “Naïve Demur,” which reminds me a little more of the melodic doom of Kings Destroy, while the monotonous, eight-minute “Sun Worship” is a slight misstep.

Things get particularly gloomy on “Won’t Subside,” an 11-minute first-hand account of a veteran’s losing battle with PTSD – sort of a spiritual successor to Vitus’ “Dying Inside” in its sombre, bleak take on a heavy topic. Fuck that wizards and witches shit – this is true doom, right here!

Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for

8.0 Rating

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