Atomwinter is a veteran German death metal band, who I have not year heard, despite having three albums under their belt since 2011. Their last effort was 2018s Catacombs, and in the 5-year gap since then, they have got themselves a new vocalist in Florian Bauer, and whoo boy is he a beast and makes Sakrileg a very solid death metal record, even more solid.

Sitting confidently astride HM2 Swedish death metal, skin-peeling Asphyx-ian death/doom,  Bolt Thrower, God Dethroned, and old-school Death inspired death metal akin to fellow classic Germans MorgothAtomwinter isn’t bringing anything new to the death metal table, but they are bringing feral energy and deft sense of songwriting as well as an absolute blast furnace of a vocalist to the table. And the result is a 10 song steamroller of a death metal album that every death metal fan should check out.

After an old-school atmospheric intro, we dive straight into “Ov Flesh and Blood”, “The Lungs Ov Hell” and  “Brutal Scriptures” a a pretty relentless trio to open the album with a perfect balance of savages blasts, a hint of slicing melody and a few lumbering grooves. “Catatonic Pathway”, while still a pretty brutal number adds a slightly more somber chorus before “The Dark Void” which shows the band can slow it down a bit with a Bolt Thrower-esque trundle.

The back half of the album follows this trend a little more, ( though still plenty brutal as heard on the rollicking title track- which also has a cool shortlived choral break) which is fine by me as death metal is always at its best when there is a little pacing and groove thrown in. In particular the back end groove of  “Cryptic Death”, moody “Until the Loss ov God” and closer “Born Into Iron Coffins”, which delivers a full on death/doom lumber with effective heft to nd the album.

With Sakrileg, Atomwinter has put themselves in the same conversation as the likes of Scalpture, Leper Colony, Slaughterday, and others as far as awesome German death metal in the modern era.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 15th, 2023


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