Okkult III

Germany’s Atrocity has been kicking around their interpretation of extreme and oft-kilter brand of death metal for 30+ years.  I stopped following the band after their 1992 album Todessehnsucht, although I do enjoy their 1996 ep The Hunt, weird?  Their Hallucinations debut album, Blue Blood ep and Todessehnsucht material, imo are untouchable.  Perfect blend of European death metal, but played with originality and brutality that, in some respects, especially with the Hallucinations album, had a bit of an American death metal flair, as well.

Sole original member/vocalist Alexander Krull has had numerous line-up changes over the years which may explain the drop-off in quality on a bunch of their other releases.  And by no means am I trying to be..well maybe…I am…a little cheeky..but when was the last time the scene jumped for joy and was excited about a new Atrocity album?  Be honest!  Exactly!

Okkult III, I believe, ends their trilogy of this series of albums and quite honestly, this album in many ways, for me, harkens back to their early 90’s material.  While I went in with an open mind I was truly not expecting to like this much as I do, in fact, I will venture to say this album kicks serious ass, folks!

10 songs in 44 minutes Atrocity opens with “Desecration of God”.  The song has a nice intro-building up to epic proportions and once the music kicks in around the minute mark the production punches you in the face and does not let up.  Interesting enough the opening isolated guitar riff had me thinking the song was about to erupt with a blast beat, but it goes into a mid-paced crunchy moment with some cool keyboard/sampling action.  Joris Nijenhuis’ drumming is pummeling and the song picks up speed-more of a gallop of sorts with some nice guitar solos.  Alex has a nice raspy growly tone on this album and lets out some cool ‘huh’s’ and drumming over the mid-paced sections-truly shine.  Chest collapsing-if you will.

Nice start, but “Fire Ignites” erupts right out of the starting gates with the immediate and deliberate Holy Shit moment as the song blasts right from the start.  Alex’ snarl takes on some Chuck Schuldiner moments and I think the drummer lets out some guttural growls too.  The guitar solos are precise and the rhythm section at the 1.40 part is lethal, just plain lethal.  The double-pounding section gets heavier than the song gets faster until a guttural growl side-swipes you left and right and goes right into a vicious blast beat.  This song must be in their live set!

“Malicious Sukkubus” features some guest musicians and starts out with epic keys/samples and vocal arias.  The female arias are extraordinary and have an almost Baroque quality to them.  It’s beautiful, creepy, and quite atmospheric as the music is played in the background until it takes center stage and this is a song, in many respects, Atrocity has thrown at us before, but this is such a neat tune.  It’s mid-paced and epic with the stop n start moments, keyboards, samples, vocal chanting and some spoken word moments.  It’s quite a diverse song.  “Lycanthropia” is ferocious.  The isolated opening riff into the blast beat will have you launching yourself out of your house and then finding people outside and knocking people out with your Sgt. Slaughter “Cobra Clutch” all damn day.  Excellent growls, solos, drumming and some nifty bass guitar lines, tie this song together.

Okkult III is Atrocity’s 12th album and the music really shines a lot.  I have spot checked their past albums, I do not have, over the years and as I stated earlier, did not excite me and were quite disjointed to say the least.  Okkult III is cohesive.  Atmospheric, epic, progressive as well as quite bludgeoning at times.  The album cover reminds me of a Belphegor record and the devil adorning the cover, on this, appears to be a scenester with his nipple rings and hellish necklaces; however, I do like this album cover.  It’s striking and goes along with the music.  If you were like me, with how you have felt about Atrocity since their early classic 90’s material, well I strongly encourage you to give this album a chance.  It fucking smokes.  Welcome back Atrocity!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
January 31st, 2023


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