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Atrocity – Okkult III Award winner

Atrocity
Okkult III
by Thomas Kumke at 21 November 2022, 5:37 AM

German Death Metal institution ATROCITY release their third and final part of the “Okkult” trilogy. Formed in 1988, ATROCITY released 11 albums, five EPs and a DVD during their career. “Okkult III” is surely the most sumptuous release of the band. It comes with an additional instrumental version and there are a few guests being responsible for additional vocals and orchestration. All additional sound effects were made by Canadian sound designer Katie Halliway. The album was mixed and mastered by Alex Krull at his Mastersound Studio. It has a length of about 45 minutes, and it was released via German Death, Black, and Heavy Metal specialists Massacre Records.

Okkult III” is released with a bonus CD with all 10 songs as instrumental version. The opening track “Desecration Of God” starts with a tension-building orchestral sequence introduced by the piano. The grim melodies transition seamlessly into the lead guitars and eventually into heavy guitar riffing. “Desecration Of God” is a fast and powerful song with all ingredients of a great Death Metal track: the sharp riffing, the double-bass drumming, the growling vocals that vary around the medium end of the guttural range, the dark melodies, and the contributing lead guitar solos. The song maintains a few symphonic features from the introductory part, which enhances the darkness of the track. “Desecration Of God” is the official video release and the YouTube link is given below. “Fire Ignites” continues with the Death Metal assault and starts with a blast-beat thunderstorm. The song is played at frantic speed, riffing and vocals spit out aggression and brutality. The melodies are doom-laden and the lead guitars intensify the grim atmosphere. “Fire Ignites” is a very direct and straight-into-the-face song, with the lead guitars being the highlight of the track.

Born To Kill” starts with powerful guitar riffs. It is a mid-tempo track with a break that starts with slow pace at a stomping rhythm, before there is an abrupt switch to insane speed for the lead guitar solo. The verse/chorus parts are driven by the guitar riffing where the chorus part has almost some catchiness in the melodies. “Bleeding For Blashemy” has a gloomy and epic start with the guitars, the drumming, and the background choir, before the pace is raised for the verse part. The tempo is higher than mid-tempo during the verse part while it is a head-banging rhythm during the chorus parts. “Bleeding For Blasphemy” is driven by the guitars and the drumming, which includes a lot of double-bass and a few blast-beats. The song structure is more complex compared to “Born To Kill” with twists in rhythm and melodies. The epic melodies from the opening sequence shines through during the chorus parts throughout until the end of the track. “Priest Of Plague” starts with a blast-beat assault and then switches into a mid-tempo track. The drumming is the focal point of the song besides the guitars. The vocals go with the melodies at times. There are a lot of twists and turns in rhythm, which are expertly led by the drumming of Joris Nijenhuis.

Malicious Sukkubus” starts with a dark cinematic pre-lude transitioning into a bombastic sound led by a church choir. The melodies are epic. The guitars are taking over after around two minutes with aggressive and direct riffing for the verse parts. “Malicious Sukkubus” features two guests with vocalists Elina Siirala (LEAVES’ EYES; ANGEL NATION) and Zoë Marie Federoff (CRADLE OF FIRTH; CATALYST CRIME), who contribute during the chorus parts and the break. The orchestral parts were arranged by Jonah Weingarten (CATALYST CRIME; PYRAMAZE). “Malicious Sukkubus” is one of the album highlights as it adds an additional layer to the album with the symphonic Death Metal approach. “Lycanthropia” is perhaps the opposite to “Malicious Sukkubus”: it is fast, brutal, and direct with flesh-ripping guitar riffing and relentless drumming. The guitars are crushing, and the track comes with plenty of double-bass and blast-beats. Highlight is the SLAYER inspired insane lead guitar solo.

 “Faces From Beyond” has a powerful start with the mighty roar of epic guitars at a measured tempo. The track transitions into a more direct approach with a few tempo switches around mid-tempo and a highly paced break for the lead guitar solo. Highlight of the track is again the drumming, which has a lot of versatility and includes all elements of modern Death Metal drumming. “Cypka” starts with catchy riffing at mid-tempo and a spoken word part performed by Polish actor Igor Gorewicz. After the opening, “Cypka” quickly moves over into the merciless pummeling of all other tracks on the album. “Cypka” is a very direct and aggressive song including the lead guitar solo. The album closes with “Teufelsmarsch” or “The March Of The Devil”, which is a mixture of the brutal guitar riffing and grim symphonic arrangements. The song is complex is its structure with a lot of twists in rhythm, and at times it is a fight between the aggression in the guitars, drums, and vocals on one hand and the darkness of the orchestral elements which were arranged by Robse Dahn (EQUILIBRIUM) and MISSTIQ. “Teufelsmarsch” is a fitting end to a great album.

Okkult III” is a highlight in many ways. It closes ATROCITY’s “Okkult” series with a bang and it is arguably the best album in the band’s history. ATROCITY has come a long way from being Germany’s Death Metal pioneers during the late 80s/early 90s, via a more controversial period during the late 90s, to one of the best modern Death Metal bands to date. “Okkult III” is brutal, aggressive, technically comprehensive, epic at times, and dark throughout. ATROCITY do not stop there; they add orchestral elements when it matters, which distinguishes them from traditional Death Metal bands. “Okkult III” is a concept and the songwriting is excellent throughout. The album is very well produced. ATROCITY set the bar for any Death Metal album in 2023, and this bar is very high. It is a must have album for every Death Metal fan.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Desecration Of God
2. Fire Ignites
3. Born To Kill
4. Bleeding For Blashemy
5. Priest Of Plague
6. Malicious Sukkubus (ft. Elina Siirala and Zoë Marie Federoff)
7. Lycanthropia
8. Faces From Beyond
9. Cypka
10. Teufelsmarsch (ft. Robse Dahn and Misstiq)
Lineup:
Alexander Krull – Vocals
Luc Gebhardt – Guitars
Micki Richter – Guitars
Joris Nijenhuis – Drums
Andre Nasso – Bass
Record Label: Massacre Records
     


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