Atrocity has survived many of its caprices over the years; I remember the band’s hard and fast romance with grindcore as well its curious industrial phase. Rapunzel extra and Atrocity front man Alexander Krull has led the band’s wavering whims from 1985 forth, and is ready to release another Atrocity flavor into the world. This one is named Okkult, and it is delicious.
First of all, let me dwell on the band’s dedication to “looking the part”. For men who look as if they stepped out of HBO’s Game of Thrones, they surely made the right album. Okkult is the perfect synthesis of death metal, black metal, thrash, and horror. Lacking nothing in the theatrical department, the album paints a symphonic hellscape with the help of classical interludes and… Opera!
The opening track “Pandemonium” is a great indicator of what’s to come with the rest of the feature. Okkult does a great job of not being too much of anything: it’s a little gothic, a little death metal, a little thrash, and a little Dethklok (okay, maybe a lot Dethklok). The harder tracks like “Death by Metal” are relieved with creatively placed pauses and plenty of lyrical variation.
The third track, “March of the Undying“, has both the haunting melody of a Satanic choir and the edge of a thrash metal band. Most of the tracks on Okkult feature this duality, which I think makes the music seem of epic proportion. Another detail that I noticed nearly immediately was the fact that I could hear each musician. Intentional or not, the songs are crafted to showcase each instrument without anything becoming muddy or bogged down with noise.
A major change of pace occurs in track ten, “When Empires Fall to Dust“. The song opens with modernized 1980s-style guitars which return in lead-form throughout the track. It was really cool hearing this format that I was positive had been left behind 20 years ago; it’s as if Okkult were the love child of medieval times and 1987.
Upon finishing Okkult, I was thoroughly impressed with Atrocity. I can bare to forgive them for their mock-industrial and their grindcore if they continue to produce albums in the same league as Okkult.