Enragement
Atrocities

Color me impressed. Finnish death metal troupe Enragement and their third full-length album, Atrocities, came totally out of left field and left me battered, bruised, bleeding, and ultimately begging for more. Seriously friends, this is some wonderful death metal that really does capture the majority of how the band themselves describe their sound and approach, “…combining various subgenres of death metal and extreme metal into a neck breaking unity of brutality. …with influences from such styles as technical, brutal, old-school, slam, black metal and grindcore.” sure, every band nowadays basically describes themselves in this way, but Enragement come through on the goods. It should come as no surprise that the band offers up such a high caliber craftsmanship considering the pedigree of quality acts that Finland can boast. I’m guessing it’s all of  those spectacular lakes and clean air, what else could it be?

Whatever the case, Atrocities does indeed mix the best of extreme metal in a concise and most effective, as well as most entertaining manner. Twelve tracks in 41 minutes of all killer, no filler death metal that  is every bit as catchy and groove laden as it is brutal and technical. Full of everything you basically could want from your death metal, Atrocities brings it; blasts, breakdowns, riff giants, progressiveness, slam, technical prowess, starts/stops, tremolo runs, syncopation, leads, licks, growls and shrieks, it’s all there and it’s all done in the most punishing, rewarding and ultimately satisfying ways. Imagine an equal mix of influences from the likes of Archspire and Psycroptic, Anata and Nile, and Internal Bleeding and Pathology and you will have a damn good idea of the level and style of aural destruction Enragement are presenting here.

This bad boy is guaranteed to garner a high placing on my year end list of best albums of 2022. And you can believe that I’m not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that Atrocities is damn near a perfect death metal album. Every track could easily be considered a highlight as every single track offers something to love. Mind you, you aren’t going to necessarily hear anything that hasn’t been done before in one shape or another, but you’re doubtful to find such a successful amalgamation of styles that work so well and come off so fresh and original, as well as familiar and comforting, as far as skull crushing death metal goes. I straight up dare you to find a song that isn’t leveling in its catchiness and its brutal-ness. From the Psycroptic meets Archspire, brutal vs. technical  mashings of “Sadistic Sedition”, complete with fantastic basslines of the Obscura varierty. The drum driven greatness of “Siberian Frost”, with its ability to remind me of  The Scepter of the Ancients-era of the aforementioned Psyroptic. The slam domination and crush of “Decimating Winds of Phosphorus”, or even the short instrumental crushing brutal riff build up of album opener “(In)Humanity”, you will be hard pressed to be unimpressed. And that’s only dealing with the album’s first half.

So if all of that didn’t tickle that metal bone of yours in any way, then might I suggest the album’s second half and its spectacular stylings of tracks like “Trade in Viscera”, with its slower, but all too crushing, beginning that could only be aptly described as tortured brutal death. The addicting lead placed behind the vocals creates a terrific suffocating feel and just when you expect the band to break out into a more furious gait, they instead ride out  that slower brutality to maximum effect. Concise and controlled, yet menacingly lurching, I love it. Slower territories also rear their head in some brilliant doomy moments within “Violent Bigotry” amidst an otherwise driving flurry of brutal blasts and sweeps. “Heavenly Inferno” also impresses with an ability to recall Malevolent Creation, circa ’95-’97, with its pummeling nature. A lot of this is due to the drum skills of Lasse Sannikka and his knack for reminding me of the attacks of both Dave Culross (Suffocation, Malevolent Creation, HatePlow, Pyrexia,…) and Derek Roddy(Malevolent Creation, Hate Eternal, Nile, Divine Empire,…); two brillaint drummers that don’t seem to get mentioned much lately, but any percussionist would love to be compared and/or grouped in with. Throw in some emotive tremolo runs, a multifaceted, multi-vocalist attack, and some crushing downshifting heaviness  with a bit of that previously mentioned Archspire/Psycroptic infectiousness, and “Heavenly Inferno” is quite the barn burner. Speaking of that multi-vocalist attack, it is for sure one attribute of Atrocities that helps keep the blood flowing. With both guitarists, Tuomas Livanainen and Atte Ojanne, as well as bassist, Juhana Heinonen, more than adequately and diversely contributing to the vocal chord onslaught, the dynamics stay high and tight if you know what I mean.

The merging influences that remind me so much of Archspire and Psycroptic are a match made in heaven (obviously I think so, with as much as I’ve brought it up ). While these band’s works might have been the farthest thing from Enragement‘s collective mnd when crafting Atrocities, the fact that the outcome can achieve that level of such destruction is uncanny simultaneously exquisite. Like I mentioned earlier, I also catch some fantastic Anata vibes in more than just a few songs i.e. “Nailed to the Cross”, “In Cinder”, “Transcend into Fire”, and “Cast into Perishment”. Considering how much I loved Anata‘s style and their offerings, it should come as no surprise that hearing a reminiscent sound in Enragement delights me like a little kid on Christmas morning. While these vibes/influence aren’t plagiaristic, they do indeed bring a sort of familiarity that really works to the added enhancement of Atrocities enjoyment. Album closer, “Cast into Perishment”, brings everything that makes Enragement a force to be reckoned with to the table. Full of catchiness, brutality, and great leads and flourishing licks, the track is not only extremely satisfying, but brings the album to a most fulfilled ending as well.

Armed with a clear and stellar production that brings the fullness of the band just as hard as it does the clarity and precision of the players involved, as well as a kick ass album cover that would make a most excellent shirt to sport around and represent, and Atrocities ends up be quite the real deal. Like I stated earlier, this album is sure to make my year end list. Yeah, it’s nothing that I haven’t been exposed to many times over in the decades of love that I carry for extreme metal, but that really isn’t the point. With an album as good as Atrocities it never matters if you have heard or experienced it before elsewhere, what matters is only the ripping feeling of excitement and satisfaction that spinning Enragement‘s  Atrocities brings to the table.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
May 25th, 2022

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