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Atrocity - Unspoken Names (1991 Demo) Award winner

Atrocity
Unspoken Names (1991 Demo)
by Ricardo Casagrande at 02 March 2022, 1:36 PM

With this one, we take a trek back in time to 1991, though the tracks did end up on ATROCITY’s 1992 release Todessehnsucht, the demo versions of “Sky Turned Red”, “Defiance”, and “A Prison Called Earth”, were previously unreleased. For a little background on the band, they were formed in 1985, and went by the name INSTIGATOR until 1988, then switching over to the name ATROCITY. They hail from Ludwigsburg Germany, and not to be confused with other such bands from the US or Bavaria, Germany, with the same name. These guys always seem to have something on the go as a band with ten full length albums, with the last one being Okkult Two, and a slew of demos, singles, and collaborations. Also in 2003 they came together with vocalist Liv Kristine to form LEAVES EYES, in which they have gone on to release eight full length albums respectfully. As you can tell, these guys are no strangers to the metal world.

The demo starts off with the track “Sky Turned Red”, and any fan of the band can tell you that they do a masterful job of building songs up, creating a tension to a breaking point. It starts with a progressive build up that is gashed open into a slightly thrashy Death Metal riff, only to go into full effect moments later. Alexander conjures up his vocals at the first of the song almost one word at a time and portrays a darkness into the song that keeps its presence until the end. The drums seem to follow no beaten path until the song picks up with the tempo, where they then turn loose the double kick that carries through the duo of screeching guitar solos. The song seems to relive it’s progressive state with the guitars and bass as the song meets its end. We then are engulfed into the song “Unspoken Names”. As the start takes on a more Death Metal feel right off the bat, and then plows full force into some headbanging riffs that battle back and forth between high tempo black metal and death metal. The vocals are once again delivered well in this song, as the band wages war in the background, matching the intensity at every word. The bass work along with the guitars at the drum blasts are great to hear as they go hand and hand, and it seems like the mastering of the album, done by Alexander himself, was well done. The song ends with chaos, as the solo really has a feel of late 80’s early 90’s death metal, and then proceeds back into a banger riff to mark its ending.

“Defiance” opens with an off timing riff that is held together with the drums before going between a classic Death/Black metal riff and some progressive guitar work, that seems to be the bread and butter of the band, as it is well thought out in the song writing. The bass rumbles and thunders in this tune, whether it is side by side with the progressive style the guitars take on or the crushing relentless drums, it makes its presence known to the listener. The guitars are creative as hell on this track, and there is no wonder why they received positive reviews at the time as they are always pushing the songs to another level, whether it be by the solo’s or just the small creative inputs between the already impressive collection of riffs. The album comes to an end with “A Prison Called Earth”. A speed driven start that flows into a classic heavy metal riff to bang your head to, though it does not last too long, but it features a slower pace the third time around and then progresses back into the same tempo to finish off and is a nice touch to a banging riff. This song, like most on this demo, has many styles and is not limited to any degree, as the song moves into a great solo. Finishing up with the last two minutes of this song is what makes the band who they are, as they continuously play with tempo’s, pauses, bass lines and a sinister growl that ties the songs together.

This demo is for at the time what makes ATROCITY who they are to this very day, and I can understand the want to remaster it. The guitars are steller, great solos, and are frenzied, but to a degree of not being able to understand and detect what you are hearing. The bass carries itself strong throughout, no matter what the timing, riffs, rolls, or vocals are bringing at it. The drums are in control at every turn, and with the many variations that come with the songs, they never seem to be labouring. The vocals are brought to you with almost a sinister presence, even though they are not in your face, you can sense the power they hold, and are well written.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Sky Turned Red
2. Unspoken Names
3. Defiance
4. A Prison Called Earth
Lineup:
Alexander Krull - Vocals
Mathias Röderer - Guitars
Richard Scharf - Guitars
Oliver Klasen - Bass
Michael Schwarz - Drums
Record Label: Massacre Records
     


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