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Ataul : Dawn of Cataclysm

Delivered with conviction, and obvious relish, Ataul's debut is solid Death-Doom with a liberal dash of Stoner Metal.

Hailing from Laguna in the Philippines, Ataul released this, their debut, back in 2015, having previously released two demo CDs. Formed in 2012, the name Ataul is taken from the local word for coffin, a name in keeping with the Death-Doom style the band have adopted. Doom is of course a global community, so it's always a pleasure to review music that originates in places that may not necessarily be traditional strongholds of the genre, and 'Dawn of Cataclysm' certainly proves to be an interesting, if occasionally flawed, debut album.

Opening track, 'Prelude to Damnation' is certainly a promising start and does whet the appetite for what's to follow. Starting off slow, sludgy, and probably heavily stoned, the tempo picks up to a loping, malevolent swagger with some harsh vocals and impressive soloing. Clocking in at less than three minutes, it's by far the shortest song on the album and is punchy and concise enough to avoid becoming mired in some of the inconsistencies that trouble a few of the later, lengthier tracks that follow later in the album.

'The Inauguration', at just over six minutes, gives the first indication of the full Ataul sound. Again, a down-tempo, distorted opening morphs into a thumping Death-Doom riff with some more excellent solo work from guitarist, J.L. Carandang. It's vocally, though, that Ataul perhaps let themselves down a little. Singer, M.G. Diestro, generally has a rough, gravelly tone that is often effective, but at times seems to struggle to consistently maintain the requisite power to complement the music, which is never less than solid throughout the whole of 'Dawn of Cataclysm'. Ataul, a three piece, certainly form a tight unit, one I can imagine delivering a killer live show.

Penultimate track, 'Mankind's Burial' is surely the standout track on this debut full release from the Filipinos. With a slow, menacing Doom intro that builds to a pounding riff, and featuring the most consistent vocal on the album, it's a powerful Death-Doom masterclass bursting with energy and aggression. It shows Ataul at their best, and hints at more to come in future releases. It's an intensity that is usually, but not always, maintained, with last track, 'Into Eternal Slumber' for instance, not quite giving 'Dawn of Cataclysm' the finale it probably deserved.

As a first full release, it's rough and ready at times, but this does lend a certain charm to the experience. Delivered with conviction, and obvious relish, it's a solid Death-Doom debut with a liberal dash of Stoner Metal that may lack a little bit of consistency, but never lacks enthusiasm and energy, and is overall an enjoyable experience that augurs well for future releases.

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Reviewer's rating: 7/10


Tracklist :
1. Prelude To Damnation
2. The Inauguration
3. Endless Procession Of Nothingness
4. Hymn To The Apocalypse
5. In Death And Decay
6. Mankind's Burial
7. Into Eternal Slumber

Duration : Approx. 47 minutes

Visit the Ataul bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-03-10 by Nick Harkins
Aesthetic Death
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