Two years in the making, Embryo is the debut from psychedelic/space rock/stonr act Katla, an album that features nine tracks of varying styles and flavors but all of it hinting at the glorious '70s. More often than not, you'll be reminded of those great early Hawkwind albums, where bubbling synths flutter above heavy guitar riffs, floating vocals, and repetitive, meditative rhythms. That's especially true with "Horsehead" and "Endless Journey", two trippy cuts that open up the album, made even more intriguing by ethereal female vocals. "Eat Sleep Die" is more of a straight ahead stoner rock tune, complete with heavy riffs and loads of wah-wah solos, while the haunting title track mixes Swedish styled folk with a touch of post rock. Just when you think you've figured out what this band is all about, they throw some psychedelic doom at you in the form of "I'm Your Queen", easily one of the highlights here, with massive Black Sabbath styled riffing, stabbing wah-wah solos, and alluring vocals. Add a dash of prog to their doom stew for the equally heavy "Illusion", as well as a touch of krautrock to their otherwise Hawkwind inspired space rock formula for the rousing closer "A Black Slimy Smooth Tongueshaped Form".
Embryo is a fun listen, and shows a band who are not afraid to mix things up and take some chances. If you appreciate '70s styled psychedelia, space rock, folk, krautrock, and prog, with some doom & stoner thrown in for good measure, chances are you'll get a lot of mileage out of this one!
02 Endless Journey
03 Eat Sleep Die
05 I'm Your Queen
09 A Black Slimy Smooth Tongueshaped Form