Atrocity – Masters of Darkness (Massacre)

Tuesday, 12th December 2017
Rating: 8/10

It’s been four years since Atrocity came back with Okkult, the first part of a proposed trilogy. Due to the busy nature of Leaves’ Eyes (of which all members also participate in), it’s taken more time to get the second act out. Hence the release of Masters of Darkness, a short but sweet 4-song EP that serves to satiate long-time fans and generate some excitement for the band’s next full-length.

Like previous album Okkult, Atrocity is in full death metal mode on Masters of Darkness. But being a band that has been able to shift and adapt with the times, don’t expect a simple old school death metal trip. While Atrocity is still pulling from their roots in terms of brutality, it’s not without some more modern charm to it. The production is, of course, top-notch and helps to differentiate it from many in the death metal spectrum, who tend to favor a more muddy sound. This EP is crisp and clear, yet can still hit like a freight-train. “Menschenschlachthaus” is a real ripper, with rousing blastbeats and thunderous riffs that square off perfectly with Alexander Krull’s gruff yet intelligible delivery. The riffing itself is catchy without having to lose intensity, as “Gates to Oblivion” shows in its mid-tempo rampage. But pick of the litter would be the closer “Devil’s Covanent,” where lively riffs are intertwined with more epic melodies (backed by a choir), taking the song into the stratosphere. It’s brutal, it’s melodic, and bound to stick with you after it ends.

While one could argue that 4-songs isn’t enough here, the blistering EP does leave one with a sense of satisfaction. Solid, chunky death metal that manages to be epic in scope while being aggressive and in your face. Likewise, it achieves its goal of reminding the listener that Atrocity means business, and heightens the anticipation for whatever is next to come.

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