Atavist II: Ruined

With the words "No life worth living” proudly emblazoned upon the gatefold artwork, accompanied by grimy, urban decay-themed photography, one should be prepared for a depressive, hair-raising experience. Sure enough, Atavist live up to their aesthetic with a guitar tone that could raze buildings and some truly colossal sludge/drone. With more than a couple of songs extending past the ten-minute point, Ruined is a demanding listen but is effectively unsettling. Not as fractured as Khanate or as overtly Southern as Eyehategod or Grief, but drawing influences from all three, Atavist also occasionally dabble in minimal guitar drones to connect some of the longer pieces, although never is the altogether upsetting atmosphere in any way compromised. The final product is a dense, twisted piece of doom that’s well worth a look for anyone who enjoys the aural equivalent of drowning in a vast lake of tar. (Profound Lore)