French quartet Atavisma play death-doom as if it was developed as a subterranean sub-genre far beneath the earth’s crust. Hidden from daylight and seasonal change, it’s like they pressed their ears to the ceiling of their cavern lair and heard the seismic rumblings from Incantation and Funebrarum’s rehearsals an ocean away. Now 5 years into their journey to the planet’s surface, Atavisma are releasing their scabrous debut LP, The Chthonic Rituals. Out July 23rd from Memento Mori, it’s an album that swallows the sun’s incoming light. That way, you too can adapt to perpetual darkness.
In the exclusive track “Ashen Ascetic” streaming below, you’ll hear everything that makes The Chthonic Rituals one of 2018’s standout death metal releases. There’s Atavisma’s coffin-crushing lurch and worm-riddled groove for the first 1.75 minutes. After that, prepare for a volatile act change into lethal blasts. Then brace for the denouement, which is basically a three minute descent into a fanged living portal that slurps your soul from your eye cavities. Give it a listen ahead of the album’s release and read guitarist/bassist/mastermind G. explain the song’s history below. Press play, and join Atavisma’s new order of the “Ashen Ascetic.”
Atavisma’s G. on “Ashen Ascetic”:
“This track has a very particular history which is quite unique when compared to the other tracks of the album. Generally, most of the songs were based on riffs that I wrote or titles/lyrics that L. or sometimes myself provided. But this one stands out by the fact that lyrics came first during a hot spring day under the influence of mind altering substances. L. and myself were together that day and out of absolutely nowhere and for no reason I started to write down the lyrics of the song from start to finish. L. and another friend of ours were amazed by what I wrote. After L. added some lines to what what was written we haven’t altered it all that much. I still have the original sheet on which it was written.
“Musically speaking, it was also the first track that we wrote as a whole band. Most of the times, I composed and wrote all the songs by myself and then took them to rehearsals, where we changed some parts or kept the songs as they were. Every member took part in this song; it was something that was very important for me since I wanted everyone to participate in it. At that time we were at the peak of the “alchemy” between all the members.
“Lyrically, the song is loosely inspired by the Aghoris from India, mostly the fact that “impurity,” as in the Abrahamic religions, doesn’t exist in their way of thinking. All is pure, there are no sins or sinful ways of being. The song also considers transcendence over material life and how our desires—which are mostly created by people outside of oneself—alienate us as beings. This song has everything that characterizes Atavisma; if someone asked me to describe the band or let them listen to one of our songs, it would automatically be this track. It is also one of our favorite songs to play during our live shows, as it has the slow heaviness and sheer brutality that characterizes our sound.”