Some would call them pioneers, others avant-garde, yet for all of the influence they have had on the metal scene, that influence has for the most part just been felt by the bands that have come after them.
Atrocity themselves formed way back in 1985 and along with their charismatic and determined founder Alexander Krull, the band have gone from strength to strength, exploring not only extreme death metal but adventuring out; adding classical, world and operatic elements into the fray.
On 2013’s Okkult, the Germanic metallers returned to their Death Metal roots with an album steeped in powerful riffs and guttural growls, all with a Gothic castle thrown in for the perfect touch.
From start to finish, Okkult 2 is just full bore. From the opening track `Masters of Darkness’ you pretty much get a full understanding of where the album will stomp for the remaining 10 tracks, 11 if you include this one. `Masters of Darkness’ commences with dark eerie noises which give way to the fury of harsh guitars and Alex Krull’s impressive deep guttural vocals, which sear through the onslaught in perfect destructive harmony.
On the track `Shadowtaker’, there’s a huge nod to Slayer in the way it develops discordant guitar passages especially in the chaotic solos, where the whammy bar takes on pure pandemonium in its very excessive use.
Rammstein is usually the first name that springs to mind for bands that sing in their native tongue, especially in German. However, Atrocity were certainly one of the real forefathers of this shift in attitude, which simply put, you didn’t need to sing in English to be popular. On `Okkult 2’ they have ` Menschenschlachthaus’ which roughly translates to `Human Slaughterhouse’, certainly when coupled with the lyrical concepts doesn’t really need much imagination as to the context of a human slaughterhouse. The guitar work again has a chaotic feel yet at times there’s more melody within the guitar passages, perhaps, giving this song more accessibility.
The lyrical concepts follow once more from the first `Okkult’ album, which delves deep into the dark recesses of human nature and our history, in particular focusing on the Nazis deep interest in all things Occult. We need bands and indeed art as a whole to reflect on society, it helps take a good look at our history and present to hopefully ensure we never repeat the mistakes of our past.
Okkult 2 isn’t anything that really pushes that far outside of the Death Metal lines, although, with Atrocity’s forays into the gothic in previous workings, you do get a smattering of gothic choirs which splits the relentless attack of harsh guitars and pounding drums. Although, this may sound like a detriment to the album, it’s really not. Atrocity brings the drive and passion on `Okkult 2’. If it’s brutal metal that you wish for, then this is your perfect reward.
If it isn’t broke don’t fix it. I mean you wouldn’t ask Heinz to change their recipe for Ketchup, would you?
9/10 – An absolute brutal album, Death Metal at its finest!
Stand out tracks:
`Masters Of Darkness’, `Menschenschlachthaus’ and `Devil’s Covenant’
1. Masters Of Darkness
3. Bloodshed And Triumph
4. Spell Of Blood
6. Gates To Oblivion (Feat. Marc Grewe)
7. Infernal Sabbath
8. All Men Must Die
9. Phantom Ghost
10. Devil’s Covenant (Feat. LG Petrov)
11. The Golden Dawn