Atrocity – Okkult II (Massacre)Thursday, 28th June 2018
After getting a taste for Okkult II with the Masters of Darkness EP back towards the tail end of 2017, the day has arrived for the complete part II of the proposed trilogy of albums. Hence, the tone of Okkult II does find its place beside the first, in that the ever-changing Atrocity is more on a direct death metal mission (as opposed to some of their other releases through the years). But there’s more to it than that.
Atrocity are certainly firing on all cylinders when it comes to delivering a freight train of aggression. The opening salvo of “Masters of Darkness” and “Shadowtaker” are laced with a timeless death metal onslaught behind them. The type that grasps the brutality of early death metal, but doesn’t get bogged down with its crusty production values. Instead, riffs hit hard and with decided purpose yet simultaneously allow some breathing room for melodies and sharp soloing. The volley between grooves, bombastic/epic indulgences, and frantic, blasting chaos on cuts like “Bloodshed and Triumph” also bring up another interesting contrast. The death metal is pure and visceral (as are Alexander Krull’s monstrous vocals), but some modern synths/choir work infiltrates the album to bring up another element that never fails to work. It never leans towards the hokey, only serving to escalate the tension provided within the music itself. Later songs like “Phantom Ghost” and “Gates to Oblivion” nail this aspect of the band, providing caustic vibes while taking things to the next level, and allowing for a few more hooks.
Okkult II swirls between contrasts, and it all the better for it. It’s direct yet epic, chaotic yet catchy, and old school yet modern. Some of these qualities might have sunk a lesser act, but Atrocity again steps up to the table and creates something stronger than the opposing elements within. A rock solid piece of death metal.