Many things can change in a seven year period; many things can work for the better or the worse. Fortunately, this hiatus worked for the benefit of ART238. After some intense live shows the band did last year in French soil, they decided that 2014 is the right time to hurl their newest offering (the first in seven years) like a radioactive missile ready to awaken and revert the most primal human instincts. However, after the addition of new members, there are certain elements that have shaped the band’s sound into something different.
At first, Atavism may seem like an EP directed towards industrial aesthetics alone, but ‘Regressive Evolution’ violently unfolds into a violent death/ grind cataclysm. Although, the dark and chaotic ambiances are a strong characteristic of this album, whether it is the hard-hitting drum machine or the electronic elements that appear sporadically, the death metal riffs and vocals are what is heavily used and drives the songs, but it’s the coalescence of both that differentiates ART238 from the fold of industrial bands. The beginning of ‘Mephitic Manifesto’ is almost black metal, yet another sonic declaration that demonstrates the extent of the band’s influences and experimentation. ‘Sons of the Atom (S.O.T.A.) – a song that features a guest appearance from Slo of the post-black metal dreamers SMOHALLA – can forcefully blow one away with its mechanized groove but still, the straightforward death/ grind eruptions and the devastating blastbeats do manage to stand out.
With this EP, ART238 have achieved a very powerful combination, a cynical play of what you may experience toward the most primitive aspects of mankind and its resultants. The three compositions form a strong substance with the occasional atmospheric breaks that appear in-between the death metal warfare, following a specific path, yet presenting new elements with each song. This new formula ART238 have embraced seems to be working just fine for them; hopefully Atavism is just the forerunner of a future, more complete onrush of these French.