Photo by: Jenifer Stratton

Official press release:

After years of turning heads in the subterranean metal scene, Twentynine Palms, CA-based sludge/doom metal group Atala are rising above with the release of their most confident album yet – the full-length crusher Labyrinth of Ashmedai – out January 26, 2018 via Salt Of The Earth Records. Pre-orders for Labyrinth Of Ashmedai are available now via

Atala have released two music videos and a mini-documentary showcasing music from the new album. Get a taste of the heaviness that is Labyrinth Of Ashmedai here:

Conjuring grit-laced sludge inspired by their barren and often oppressive desert backdrop, Atala grips the listener with reflective, crushing doom atmospheres dripping with stoner rock and experimental influences to boot. As with their last record, Shaman’s Path Of The Serpent, Labyrinth Of Ashmedai was produced by Billy Anderson, recognized for his work with colossal bands such as Sleep, Melvins and Mastodon.

Atala draws inspiration from their local environment, but not in the way other bands from the area do. Guitarist/frontman Kyle Stratton starts:

“Contrary to popular belief, we aren’t from Joshua Tree, the tourist-trap. Unlike our silver spoon-fed, trust-funded neighbors, we’re from the blue collar side of town. Twentynine Palms is a military base area – our surroundings inspire our music in a way that is pretty different from the way other local bands describe their own inspirations. It’s not all meditation and serenity out here.”

Stratton continues:

“We feel more sullen in our outlook. Not only do we deal with weather reaching nearly 130 degrees, we see and experience the effects of true struggles – war, poverty, death, drugs, gang violence, prostitution and murder – quite often. Gun stores, casinos, churches, liquor stores, bars, wild animals and greed-based-politics just touch the surface of what our town offers. Without going into too much detail… it’s no easy life for us out here. Our music is a mirror that reflects the truth of our personal life experiences.”

Stratton says working with producer Billy Anderson gives Atala a great advantage, because not only does he bring out their best, he understands their background on a personal level. He adds:

Billy was born and raised in Twentynine Palms, so not only does he understand our feelings of despair, he understands the heaviness we are trying to express musically. He helped mold us; he knows how to package heavy in a palatable way. You can hear his industrial stylings and noise contributions adding to the experimental vibe we have on this record. Because we are so comfortable with him, he is able to push us and bring us to a higher level.”

Labyrinth of Ashmedai track listing:

1. “Grains Of Sand”
2. “Tabernacle Of”
3. “Death’s Dark Tomb”
4. “I Am Legion”
5. “Wilted Leaf”
6. “Infernal”

Kyle Stratton – guitar/vocals
Jeff Tedtaotao – drum
Dave Horn – bass