Album Review: Atavist – III: Absolution (Candlelight Records)

Reformed in 2017 after a ten year hiatus, the UK’s most devastating death/doom stalwarts, Atavist, triumphantly return in 2020 with a brand new studio album. Titled III: Absolution, the album will be released via Candlelight Records on 19th June and is the band’s third full length, coming almost thirteen years after their highly acclaimed 2007 release, II: Ruined (Profound Lore Records).

Featuring Winterfylleth guitarist and vocalist, C. Naughton, along with bassist S. Ryan, drummer C. Cox and vocalist T. Bradshaw, their creative forces meld once again on III: Absolution.

Guitarist C. Naughton commented:

This is a soundtrack that travels through the depths of human emotion, from losing everything, mourning loss, realising your own mind, right through to finding your way again. Ultimately finding Absolution at the end of that journey. There is no joy here, only relief at the end of an arduous voyage.

Gloomy and poignant, Loss is a wonderful encapsulation of the sadness and despair that might be felt by those who have suffered it. Mellow, emotive and pretty but with eruptions of heavy doom showcasing the flair ups of pain. Darkness surrounds yet there is a hopeful tone that builds and builds towards the end. A stunning first track.

Struggle is deeper, murkier and more choking. The doom layered on thickly as the guitars reverberate throughout the emptiness. It’s the sound of tired hearts and minds, the struggle becoming too much and the urge to just give up, strong.

Thankfully Self-Realisation is just around the corner although there is little relief from the compressing and crushing doom. The pace delectably slow, the riffs drawn out to teeth-aching results. The howls of derision and thump of drums, adding so much extra impact. The toiling of the bell at the end makes for a powerful finish.

Leading to Absolution which takes its sweet time as it builds melancholic melodies upwards towards an optimistic yet very intense doom sound. A spectacular final track, as far as closing out the narrative goes, it absolutely nails it.

As beautiful and tear-jerking as it is penetrating, Atavist have 2020’s best doom album here by some distance.

Atavist – III: Absolution Full Track Listing:

1. Loss
2. Struggle
3. Self-Realisation
4. Absolution




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Atavist - III: Absolution (Candlelight Records)
  • The Final Score - 10/10
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