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Atolah - Post Cross and Yoke

Post Cross and Yoke
by Ricardo Casagrande at 22 March 2022, 3:47 PM

ATOLAH is a Stoner/Doom band that was formed in 2007 and hails from Perth, Australia and have released two EP’s to date. The first was Relics in 2009 and performed mostly around the Australian regions and had songs featured on multiple compilation albums. After relocating to the Netherlands, which saw the introduction of two new members to the band, they went into the studio in 2012 to record Post Cross and Yoke. Unfortunately shortly after the recordings were finished, the band took a hiatus, which saw the recordings never released. Fast forward to 2021, Tim the founding member, working back out of Australia, is looking to breathe new life into the band with two new members and releasing this EP.

The EP starts off with the instrumental track “Dead Leg” and takes on the role of a more Stoner than Doom metal. A mid-tempo tune that kicks off with the deep rumbling of the bass that at times overpowers the guitar. The song as a whole feels like it came together with just the bass and drums jamming, it doesn’t stray far from the main riff and tempo, and is a straight forward song without the addition of anything unnecessary. The second track kicks off similar to the first with the bass shaking the speakers and the guitar entering with feedback. “Relics” is like a dark ritual song that gradually builds within itself as it picks up pace. Pierre’s bass sounds great and is at the forefront once again as the bass and drums are a powerful concoction and are the driving point behind the song. I do however miss the vocals on this track as I think they could fit in well. The guitar comes through the most near the end of the track and fits in place, as the distortion can easily be taken for the bass throughout the album. “Down It or Leave It” starts off with the vibe of people wearing robes and slowly walking to put candles around their next sacrifice. There is a cool riff in the track that is embodied by all the band as it powerfully rumbles on, before slowly fading out. There is feedback in the three tracks so far and it really gives the songs a live feeling, almost as if you are walking by a garage and stop to listen to the band jamming inside.

“Weedy Gonzalez” continues the release along with a sludgy dirty bass riff and the drums battling side by side. This song is a little more up-tempo and transforms itself nicely into a great riff as each instrument feeds off the others and ties back together in this stoner track that has some great groovy moments. At this point you can tell that the songs don’t mess around too much from an original riff and the band is in no hurry to put an end to the song. “El Duce” is a shaky, distorted structure of a song that you are waiting for the moment it crumbles. The drums are enticing with some cool rolls to kick off the track and stick with it as the song changes into a new form of beast to finish off as the drums on this track are very well done by Tim. The beginning of the songs at this point seem to be pretty monotonous as we come to the titled track “Post, Cross and Yoke”. This is the first song to have some vocals with it and seems to bring more of a Doom metal element with it. The vocals are low and are forced to background a bit by heavy rumbling distortion, but works with the feel of the music as they do stand out well. There are some timing variations on the track but it does carry out the same tempo for the it’s majority. The album ends off with “Focke-Wulf” and comes to life the same as the other tracks, a slow rumbling build up before it pounds and crunches into the distorted main riff. There is some slower guitar work half way through, and the bass sounds great as it is very much a bass and drum band.

The music sounds good and is much of what I usually enjoy with the heavy distortion, and strong powerful rhythm. But with the starting to each of the songs, along with how they are structured, they get lost within each other and become predictable. I would recommend giving a listen to some of the tracks and if you dig it, then that is what you are going to get from the band and the rest of the tracks. The few touches of vocals within the release does add something and could use more in my opinion. I could take the release in small doses at a time, but is not for me.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 5
Memorability: 4
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

1. Dead Leg
2. Relics
3. Down It Or Leave It
4. Weedy Gonzales
5. El Duce
6. Post, Cross And Yoke
7. Mood Brewer
8. Focke-Wulfe
Clint Willis - Guitars
Pierre-François - Bass, Vocals
Tim Byrne - Drums
Record Label: Sleeping Church Records


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