“Lords of the Flame,” which opens Huata’s sophomore Atavist of Mann, boasts a corpse-painted black metal band in stoner metal clothing, and this is a good thing. Riding a psychedelic bass gallop, the French quartet propel the similarly vibed “Operation Misteltoe” through a fuzz-out haze.
The album then begins a shift, opening up into a more doom blackened atmosphere, and losing its focus. Drones frame the commencement of a dark ceremony n “Part 1: Testis Sum Capri,” and the sprawling “Part II: Templars of the Black Sun,” but this approach yields a tired, powerless distraction. These tracks – and the album-closing “Fall of the Fourth” – go out with a sigh, rather than a bang.
Atavist of Mann is ambitious and aims to cover a great deal of ground, and in doing so, proves Huata’s strengths and, unfortunately, their weaknesses.
Atavist of Mann is out now on Mordgrimm.
Rating: 3/5 Stars