Atavistia – Cosmic Warfare
Atavistia is a Canadian band described as Diverse Metal band that goes beyond merely crafting songs and takes you on a mental journey through vast sonic landscapes of snow-covered forests, desolate tundras, and barren permafrost-laced landscapes. Taking inspiration from the majestic natural landscapes of their homeland, earthly seasons, and ancient Norse culture, their grandiose sound matches these lyrical themes in an impressive symphony of destruction as they balance graceful melodies with brutal rhythmic cacophony.
- Mattias Sippola – Vocals/Guitars
- Dalton Meaden – Guitars
- D’wayne Murray – Bass
- Max Sepulveda – Drums
April 21, 2023
- Omega Nova
- Cosmic Warfare
- Ethereal Wanderer
- Spectral Rebirth
- Divine Destruction
- Forgotten Silence
From the start, “Omega Nova” begins a build that takes over two minutes to come to fruition. Ambient tones and ethereal sounds slowly enter the mix, working to create what is one of the best intros of the last decade. The emergence of the chorale, fused with keys and horns, heralds the incoming onslaught.
“Cosmic Warfare” is musical brutality mixed with symphonic beauty. The widely diverse soundscapes both complement and contrast each other. Harsh vocals and a frenetic tempo are wrapped in haunted vocalizations and delicate undertones meant to “soften” the blow from the rest of the track. Compared to the lighter guitar leads, the heavy riff seems to represent the two sides of the battle. There cannot be a war with only one side, and this album begins with two forces fighting each other musically.
Opening with a more melodic twist, “Ethereal Wanderer” has excellent guitar work woven with killer keyboards and backing vocals. The drums back away from the blast beat for much of this song, instead going for more complex patterns than brutal speed. There is an almost Progressive Metal feel to some sections, though that is not the main style of the song. This song has a widely diverse sound, with the delicate guitar work coupled with the cello for the interlude. Said interlude connects two different movements beautifully. Weaving in clean vocals helps to create distinct elements for the other sections.
This song begins with what sounds like an old radio trying to dial into a station. Then, the drums come crashing in to open the bombastic overture that is the first movement. The diversity of the music is again highlighted, moving through Death and Symphonic Metal, using Progressive Metal techniques to go from one section to the next, crafting different phrasings to point out the various emotional needs of each section. At 11 minutes, there is room to play with time signatures and experiment with an array of tempos, and this is not even the longest song on the album.
“Divine Destruction” opens with tribal sounds, adding similar drum patterns until the main body of the song rips across your mind entirely by surprise. You knew the blow was coming, just not when. Through much of this record, the bass is ever-present but hangs a bit “under” in the mix, influencing the sound and tone more than being heard out front. The keys move up and down in the mix, often even with the guitar, then drop to support the riff or highlight the lead. The mix on this disc is masterful.
At 12 minutes, “Forgotten Silence” is the longest track on this album. This one has the melodic intro with the massive chorale you’ve come to expect from Atavistic. The transition into the main body is very well done, bringing in the piano to help turn the song into the following phrase. There are so many elements brought to bear on this track that it is hard to pick out all of them. Every song on this album is a carefully constructed composition meant to evoke a series of thoughts and emotions from each individual listener.
This album is felt as much as it is heard. Atavistic creates music that influences the heart and mind at the same time. The different textures and tonal qualities in each segment of every song have something unique to offer. With over 50 minutes of running time and only six songs, it is no surprise the genre they’ve chosen to embrace is Diverse Metal. There is so much to hear here that it takes several playthroughs just to catch everything the album has to offer. It is grandiose, and both the writing and performance are stunning. The more I listen, the better this gets.
- Guitars – 10
- Rhythms – 10
- Vocals – 10
- Songwriting – 10
- Production – 10
- Overall – 10.00