By: Jack Taylor
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 20/01/2017
Label: Underground Legends Records,
Sacramento Records, Odio Sonoro,
Cosmic Tentacles, The Braves Records,
Lengua Armada, VZQ, Avestan Scriptures,
Aladeriva Records (only CD), Violence in the veins (only CD)
Wonderfully straddling the line between a live and studio sound, thanks to the efforts of producer Carlos Santos and the unfailingly excellent mastering work of the ever-prolific James Plotkin, ‘Avesta’ sounds absolutely mighty. A must-listen for fans of Yob, Baroness, Mastodon and anyone interested in ambitious stoner-sludge metal.
“Avesta” CD//DD//LP track listing:
4). Ken Za
‘Avesta’ is Aathma’s first full-length since two-thirds of the line-up changed in the period between their last album, ‘Decline…Towers of Silence’ and the ‘Deadly Lake’ EP. As I considered the latter to be one of the band’s finest efforts to date, I was keenly anticipating the release of ‘Avesta’. I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed at all.
The first thing which strikes you about this album is its wonderful blend of sheer sonic power and finesse. Wonderfully straddling the line between a live and studio sound, thanks to the efforts of producer Carlos Santos and the unfailingly excellent mastering work of the ever-prolific James Plotkin, ‘Avesta’ sounds absolutely mighty.
And what about the songs then? Well it’s another strong collection from this Madridian trio, seven excellent songs that stand up to anything in their back catalogue. Frontman Juan Dominguez gives Yob’s Mike Scheidt a run for his money with his excellent varied vocal delivery and stellar guitar work, particularly on the opener “Mah’, while ‘Mithra’ is another stunning track. “Ken-Za” is a devastating cosmic jam resembling Ufomammut at their finest, which segues into “Hvare”, one of the band’s more straightforward pieces which features a satisfying singalong chorus of sorts. The closer, “Aban”, traverses a great deal of sonic terrain over the course of twelve minutes – another stellar epic to fit snugly into the Aathma back catalogue in the mould of ‘Red Storm (Decline of a Breed’ and ‘A Thousand Nails’.
As previously mentioned, aside from singer/guitarist Juan, the other band members were making their debuts on an Aathma full length. They make their presence know, with Mario González’s bass work and Alex Porras’s drumming performances being top-notch throughout. As a result, Aathma sound much more mature and confident than on their debut, ‘The Call of Shivá’, which was released back in 2009.
With ‘Avesta’, Aathma have released one of my favourite releases of 2017 so far. A must-listen for fans of the aforementioned Yob, Baroness, Mastodon and anyone interested in ambitious stoner-sludge metal.
‘Avesta’ is available in all formats here