Artist: Atavisma – Void Rot
Genre: Doomed Death Metal
Country: France – United States
Release Date: 7th of February, 2020
Released via Everlasting Spew Records
Cover Artwork © Everlasting Spew, 2020
The intro of a release always opens up an entire sphere before the actual music has even started. There are many ways to approach the initiation of your music – some try to build up a soundscape with effects from a very special setting – some try to start smoothly with their instrumentation – and some vigorously kick in and directly head into full energy. It is somewhat different, though, to start an album that makes me recheck whether I mistakenly started Ornette Coleman instead of the split release I wanted to listen to.
Yes – we’re talking about the split of French Death Doomer Atavisma and American Death combo Void Rot. The former might already be a name to dedicated Death Doom fans due to their prior full-length release The Chthonic Rituals among others. The latter, though, is also no name that is new to the game – with Void Rot having already released their EP Comsumed by Oblivion. Both bands play a very distinctive Doom variant of Death Metal – having released their split on Italian Everlasting Spew Records.
The album kicks off – as just mentioned – with a wild variant of a beginning. Atavisma take off for the first three of the six tracks on the split and introduce their sound with a weird and wild mixture of instrumentation that highlights the bass in the forefront and somewhat reminds a lot of the playstyle of a darker Free Jazz track – damn this release already got me at that point. After having played along in an extensively peculiar (in a positive sense) manner – the actual Death Doom sound slightly and smoothly kicks in – the bass nevertheless remains in the forefront which also emerges as one of the absolute trademarks of the sound on this split. Atavisma maintain the wild bass playstyle that can be heard in the beginning throughout their entire three tracks, which always adds a very special nuance of “what the fuck is going on here?”
When having stepped right into the first track that combines weird bass lines, incredibly catchy Death Metal melodies above the short – fast – short rhythm and the swamping guitar sound – the second track “Mold Upheaval” even begins with an almost optimistic sound. If you guess you’re now entering safe space – I unfortunately have to tell you you’re wrong. On top of this smooth intro sound, the nasty and spooky melodies overtake the track and switch back into blasting Death Doom. The melodies that add just that very highlight on top are what puts this split (speaking of the Atavisma side) into the forefront. On the one hand, these melodies support the neat OSDM sound with an uncanny mood and on the other hand the targeted repitition of these melodies turns these tracks into mere hypnosis.
With “Ritual Invocation,” Void Rot seem to be wanting to rewind the swamp we already got lost in when having listened through the Atavisma side. They try to do so by beginning their first track acoustically – but as eerie as everything we heard before. Again we get a high-quality dose of a cavernous mixture of Death and Doom Metal – once more nuancing the swamp with decent melodies on top of neat OSDM sound that steps a little further into the vault. Void Rot succeed to dynamically oscillate between slow, stomping Death Doom and vigorously fast Death Metal sequences. The drumming also steps into the forefront on this one – especially by succeeding to easily execute jumps in speed back and forth.
The final track “Accursed Earth” opens up with a menacing melody that converges with a slow and stomping rhythm, feeling absolutely threatening and expecting impending doom most probably by something having emerged from the underground. This culminates in an absolute breakdown that stomps its way to the final sequence of the track – easily associating the stomping rhythm with someone or something slowly approaching a victim – eventually fading into nothingness.
This record clearly plays along with genre characteristics of Death Doom and adds certain variations to what we usually expect when reading a genre term like this. If you are interested in broadening what is possible when crafting with genres – you should clearly listen to this split.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
9 / 10
“Mold Upheaval” – Atavisma
“Accursed Earth” – Void Rot
As usual, we added the favorite track(s) to our Transcended Review Playlist 2020.