Being a classic or storied band can have its drawbacks, these usually rear their ugly heads in the later stages of a bands career where people hark back to the days of old and what the band were. This level of elitism may often be just and fair but equally modern material should always be given a chance, some of my favourite albums from bands such as Cannibal Corpse, Anthrax and Kreator are what would be consider more modern releases, so let us not brush the new under the carpet and rather welcome a new age of Metal.
One such storied and rather classic band would be the mighty Atrocity, who’s classic material came in the form of 1990’s Hallucinations and latterly the 2004 epic Atlantis as well as a wealth of other gems in the space between those releases. In 2013 the Death Metal machines created Okkult which showed promise and got the foundations of Atrocity shaking once again, following up that album comes the aptly named Okkult II which promises to pave the way for 2018’s Death Metal scene.
Undoubtedly this album has a true Old School Death Metal flare to it, with an absolute no bullshit approach, there are no bells and whistles in the form of instrumental interludes, rather straight up cascading Death Metal fury harnessing a modern flare. The more modern tone seethes through in the Symphonic portions of this album offering a unique edge that rivals even Septicflesh’s Symphonic Death Metal prowess. Okkult II is a genuine powerhouse of old school riffs and nasty early 90’s vocals that crush at every opportunity.
Okkult II is oddly not overly Symphonic which is a bit of a blessing, the Symphonic moments bring the tracks to life rather than lingering like an annoying mist of pointless ambience. Masters Of Darkness, Bloodshed And Triumph, Gates To Oblivion, All Men Must Die and The Golden Dawn are all examples of the strength in which Atrocity wield blending the Symphonic and Old School Death Metal elements perfectly. The addition of guest musicians Marc Grewe (ex-Morgoth) and LG Petrov (Entombed A.D.) act as a nice little nod to the Death Metal underground also.
Overall this is a great example of a modern Death Metal album done right, brutal, experimental, refreshing and powerful, Atrocity are back and bringing their A game. If you like your Death Metal old school then refer to this piece of perfection, the Symphonic tones may be a little much for total purists but for the majority this stands to be one of the top Death Metal albums of 2018, don’t miss out.
(8/10 George Caley)