The highly anticipated debut full-length of this French band. Hailing from the new breed of exquisite French Death Metal darkness, Atavisma formed in late 2013 and promptly set to work perfecting their assiduously doomed-out craft. Founders G. (guitar) and L. (vocals) wanted to create a band devoted to old school Death Metal, and with the addition of C. (drums) and W. (bass) shortly thereafter, the quartet’s compositions progressively shifted towards a Death/Doom Metal approach with a penchant for lyrics that mainly deal with the relationship between man and nature, ancient cultures and spirituality. Wisely prizing quality over quantity, Atavisma’s sparse discography comprises a debut single in 2014 and a four-song demo that same year, a split 7″ with Maur in 2015, and a two-song 7″ last year. During all this, the band took their craft to the stage alongside such bands as Archgoat, Merrimack, Inferno, Ritualization, Ataraxie, Mercyless and Mourning Dawn, and as recently as February/March 2017, they embarked on their first French tour and supported Blood Incantation and Cruciamentum during their European tour. With their chops finely honed in the studio and on the live front, at last comes the time for Atavisma’s momentous debut album: “The Chthonic Rituals”. The album’s title not-so-subtly serves as a clarion call for the quartet’s aesthetic to date, and where that aesthetic can fully go when given a long-form format. Ridiculously filthy and yet exuding a startling sense of clarity, Atavisma here conjure a forever-roiling, fatally-swirling whirlpool of murk and total ‘n’ utter darkness. Riffs are doled out like sick ‘n’ slithering creatures that soon overtake their master, devouring both body and soul with salacious delight. Thus armed, compositions take on obscene forms, utilizing both über-heavy hooks and labyrinthine detours, hackle-raising tension and hypnotic quasi-melodicism, winding the listener down caverns most foul, warping any sense of sanity. And although the band’s attack has gotten progressively doomier, there’s never a moment of inertia; all is forward momentum, and it all leads toward an abyss with literally no end. The 11-minute closer says everything in its title: “A Subterranean Life”. Totality is reached in both cover art (courtesy of E. Muskie), mixing by Johan Bijaoui at Mannaz Records, and mastering by the elite Javier Felez at Moontower Studios. Maniacs of Incantation, Cianide, Grave, Disma, Winter, Funebre, Encoffination and classic Convulse, hereby meet your new masters: Atavisma. Let The Chthonic Rituals begin…
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