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Atrocity - Okkult II

Okkult II
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 11 June 2018, 6:22 AM

German extreme metal band ATROCITY has been around a long time, having released several classic albums, such as "Atlantis," and "Todessehnsucht."  They have been quite prolific; in addition to numerous Eps, Splits, demos, and two cover albums, “Okkult II” represents their eigth full-length album.  In addition, they have also been the band behind Symphonic Metal band LEAVES' EYES. In the past, ATROCITY have never been afraid to step outside the box and explore their sound in ways most Death Metal bands would never try but “Okkult II” is more straight-ahead Death Metal, albeit it is also often Symphonic as well.

The opening track, "Masters of Darkness," begins with strange soundscapes before the hammering double bass and fast guitar picking kicks in. A choir in the background adds to the somewhat Gothic tone before some groove is thrown in for good measure.  As always, Krull’s vocals are among the best of the genre; he sounds completely scary and depraved but still manages to be comprehensible.  Halfway thru the song, blast beats and the chorus trade off in short burst to create the perfect blend of brutality and epic tones. “Spell of Blood” is an album highlight because of the slick guitars riffs that are played as well as they are punishing—they will definitely induce whiplash.  The chorus, and Krull’s performance on it, is intense as any other Death Metal album I’ve heard this year.

Thorsten Bauers, who plays guitar and bass, doesn't seem to tire easily.  His bass is a constant highlight and he has proven himself to be indispensable. “Infernal Sabbath,” is about as ominous and dark as the title would suggest with a desolate opening that would make a Doom band cry.  The rest of the track is punishing, especially the ending that is a cacophony of drums, riffs, and leads, ending in a crescendo of torrential heaviness. “Devil’s Covenant,” has a melodic opening but the main riff reminds us of the band’s power when they play true Death Metal.  The riffing is snappy and leads the listener through a twisting maze of searing Death Metal.  ENTOMBED’s LG Petrov is featured on the track, as well.

2018 has seen the release of so much great Death Metal that it would be easy to get lost in the growling crowd, but ATROCITY have what it takes to see them climbing on top of many’s best of list by the end of the year.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Masters of Darkness
2. Shadowtaker
3. Bloodshed And Triumph
4. Spell of Blood
5. Menschenschlachthaus
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
Alexander Krull – Vocals
Thorsten Bauer – Guitars, Bass
Pete Streit – Guitars
Joris Nijenhuis – Drums
Record Label: Massacre Records


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