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Atonement - Merciless Blasphemy

Merciless Blasphemy
by Tom Hanno at 08 February 2022, 12:40 PM

The Swedish band ATONEMENT, whose blend of Death, Thrash, and Black Metal made its recording debut on October 14th, 2021, is on a mission. That mission is simply to remind the world of the Thrash Metal heyday of the late 1980's, using highly influential bands like early DESTRUCTION, early SEPULTURA, POSSESSED, and DEATH

To be honest, I wasn't a big fan of this album at first, mostly due to the vocal work and the overall production; there's an almost Black Metal tone to the vocals that I'm not a big fan of. I did find that I enjoyed the music more and more with each new listen, eventually landing me at a place where I was able to enjoy the entire album.

The first track goes by the name "Infernal Rites," and consists of a solo acoustic guitar with bursts of thunder in the background. This short intro grabbed my attention with its beauty and tone, and served as a nice build up to the first full track.

Following that excellent intro is "Axe of Death," and this one came as a bit of a shock to my ears. The guitar parts have that speedy tempo that is a necessity in this genre, and the drums are devastatingly good, but the vocal work is where the surprise came in. The vocal performances are raw and use reverb more than is necessary, something that seems to have been used throughout a lot of "Merciless Blasphemy;" the vocals threw me off for the majority of this record.

The final track is called "Unholy Sorcery," and this is the one that makes me think that Atonement has a massive amount of potential. There is a definite SLAYER vibe within the music, but mixed with the European sounds of bands like DESTRUCTION, CARCASS, or KREATOR, and it also has what I feel are the best vocals on this release.

While "Merciless Blasphemy" isn't a masterpiece of metal, it is surprisingly good, especially if you take into consideration that the average age of the band's members is only 16. ATONEMENT has time to grow, to perfect their songwriting by adding in a little more variety between songs, and to alter their approach to recording in order to get the best tones possible. I think that the vocals will improve with more experience, that this band will be able to alleviate any doubts of their skills, and I look forward to hearing the future of this Swedish Thrash band.

Songwriting:  6
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 5
Production:  5

3 Star Rating

1. Infernal Rites
2. Axe of Death
3. Evil Minds
4. Lust for Sin
5. Unholy Sorcery
Ludvig Rösth – Guitar/Vocals
Niklas Saari – Bass
Mille Lundström – Drums
Record Label: Regain Records


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