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Album Review: Atavistia - Cosmic Warfare
A symphonic mix of technically precise musicianship, atmospheric brutality and savage melodies. Epic Melodic Death/Symphonic Black Metal quartet Atavistia have returned with an absolute stellar 3rd studio album Cosmic Warfare. Aiming for the stars and the vast emptiness of the macrocosm, Cosmic Warfare is a dark tale of being pulled into a black hole. Although it is not a concept album, all of the songs relate to one another whether played in order or individually.
Starting as a bedroom project in 2016 with mastermind Mattias Sippola at the helm, the project grew in to a fully-fledged band in 2018. Sippola says of the record:
"This upcoming album portrays many emotions which have transpired over the past two and a half years. There are dark moments full of pure chaos and anger to moments of triumph and tranquility. I am very proud of how the album flows together."
The record opens with 'Omega Nova,' a 2 minute 22 second cinematic instrumental which wouldn't be out of place in a Ridley Scott film. In fact, the entire record is basically a Ridley Scott film score but metal. It sets a wonderfully intricate and grandiose atmosphere with a soaring orchestral and dramatic flare before plummeting in to the title track. Every bit as dramatic as the opener, 'Cosmic Warfare' tears the record apart from the onset with blistering blast beats, furious riffage and Sippola's demonic roars on the backdrop of the epic orchestral soundscape and really cool sci-fi sound effects. This track is utterly relentless and charges forward with pure aggression before soaring in to otherwordly melodies, flying solos and a stunning mix of gutteral and clean vocals.
'Ethereal Wanderer' continues the relentless pursuit with soaring melodies and fast paced riffage creating an image of twisting and turning through the elements. Featuring clean guest vocals from Vincent Jones of Aether Realm, the contrast with Sippola's harsh growls is masterfully balanced. The orchestral and synth heavy backdrop is still very much present here in which the track slows right down to a melancholic soundscape before roaring in to action at full speed again.
'Spectral Rebirth' is a dramatic, 10 minute long journey of savage beauty with an incredibly commanding prescence. Blistering blast beats, soaring solos, ethereal choirs and orchestration lead by Sippola's brutal growls and dramatic cleans. The track slows down at around the 7 minute mark to a flowing and haunting melody accompanied by dramatic drums and gentle acoustics before ascending once more with stunning guitarwork. Considerably darker and foreboding in nature, this track is nothing short of absolutely staggering.
'Divine Destruction' continues the cacophony of symphonic theatrics with added atmosphere from spoken word elements and operatic flare. Furious riffage and heavy basslines are relentless throughout not to mention the pursuit of savage blast beats. The record begins its conclusion with the longest track in its arsenal. 'Forgotten Silence' is an 11 minute long score of thunderous theatrics and savagely atmospheric flare accompanied by a final push of demonic growls, dramatic cleans and soaring guitars.
Atavistia have certainly brought their incredible vision to fruition which is a feat in itself considering how detailed and layered this record is. If you're looking for a melodic death metal record with blackened symphonics, dramatically ferocious flare and a captivating atmosphere, look no further than 'Cosmic Warfare;' this isn't just a metal record, it's a masterpiece.
Released By: Self Released
Release Date: 21/04/2023
FFO: Wintersun, Foretoken, Brymir
1) Omega Nova (02:22)
2) Cosmic Warfare (06:57)
3) Ethereal Wanderer (08:37)
4) Spectral Rebirth (10:27)
5) Divine Destruction (08:53)
6) Forgotten Silence (11:29)
Total Runtime: 48 minutes and 47 seconds.