ATROCITY, one of Germany’s most successful metal bands, is one of the most experimental and diverse musical acts in the history of metal. They have always found the courage to explore uncharted territories, while delivering top-notch productions. One such production was their full-length release, “Werk 80 II”, which entered the top 20 of the German Media Control Charts.
ATROCITY – OKKULT (2013)
“With “OKKULT” we want to start a very special album trilogy. Most recently with the “Die Gottlosen Jahre (The Godless Years)” DVD, a splendid film documentary was released commemorating our longer than 25 year career, which even now is to run at film festivals. Reason enough now to usher in a new era of ATROCITY! Musically, no prisoners will be taken, the “OKKULT” series is also brutal, bombastic and dark. These will not only be the heaviest and most brutal albums of ATROCITY since years, but also the darkest works of our band’s history. Lovers of our harder material like “Hallucinations”, “Todessehnsucht”, “Blut” or “Atlantis” will surely be delighted with the “OKKULT” series at their expense, although the “OKKULT” songs have their own trademarks, of course.” states singer and producer Alex Krull.
The new ATROCITY opus “OKKULT” is the kickstart to an album trilogy, as it has not been seen before in the metal scene! Musically ATROCITY show an enormous tension width, and deliver a very powerful, homogeneous and atmospheric album: On the one hand with much bombast and big choirs a la “March Of The Undying”; on the other hand ATROCITY deliver equally purist, brutal metal songs, which get under your skin just as intensely, closely and authentically.
The overall sound is perfectly harmonized. The earthy, brilliant production sounds intoxicating and gives the musical pieces the necessary energy, atmosphere and roughness to dive immediately into the lyrical concept. This is anything but one-dimensional:
The lyrics relate to occult magic, mysterious places, conspiracy theories and mysteries that are still unsolved. Thus ATROCITY turn John Milton’s vision of “Pandemonium” into reality in an imposing way. With “Death By Metal”, a mystical tale from long ago, ATROCITY have composed a tribute to their own musical roots, as well as it is their own band anthem. The band takes us with “Haunted By Demons” on a Scottish Haunted Castle, and brings in “Necromancy Divine” the ancient necromancer Erictho back to life. Moreover, the “OKKULT” cover motif is dedicated to her. With overwhelming power the gates of hell are opened in “Masaya (Boca del Inferno)”. The epic “When Empires Fall To Dust” set the mystical prophecies of a mysterious, French Freemason from the First World War to music. Never before has the Ides of March been staged musically as gripping as in “Murder Blood Assassination”. Also the myths surrounding the Antarctic have never before been turned into such a hymnic piece of music (“Beyond Perpetual Ice”). As a culmination the poisoner and witch “La Voisine” does her mischief in the Paris of the 17th Century: What could fit better than a smashing, furious metal song of the brand ATROCITY?
In keeping with the dark atmosphere of “OKKULT” the band got the Canadian Sound Designer Katie Halliday on board. She worked for movies like “Saw V”, “Saw VI”, “Saw 3D (VII)”, “The Devil’s Carnival” and “Todd and the Book of Pure Evil”, and already could reap some awards for her work.
The orchestral parts were recorded by the Lingua Mortis Orchestra under the direction of Victor Smolski (RAGE) in Minsk / Belarus. Besides all harshness and bombast ATROCITY again show their excellent sense of very good, catchy songs – “Satans Braut” is definitely a pure club hit.
“For our fans, we’ve come up with something very special: There will be no conventional bonus tracks on the “OKKULT” albums! In return, all fans can actively engage in a kind of treasure hunt. For the respective ”OKKULT” albums, we will hide one song on an “occult site”, which is the “missing track” to each album. For the first “OKKULT” record that certain place will be in Europe. All original recording tracks and mixes of these songs will be destroyed by our own hands, that also means we as a band will also not be able to listen to these songs until they are found. They are in the truest sense of the word: Unique.” Alex Krull explains the very first global Metal treasure hunt.
The first evidence of “Metal goes Geocaching” are hidden in the booklet of the limited edition digipak and in the iTunes version. By the means of a numerical code the ATROCITY fan can determine the code word for the access to the treasure hunt on the website of ATROCITY. The code word is the title of the hidden songs, and at the same time the first indication of the location of the secret hiding place!
The new ATROCITY album “OKKULT” is in every sense a real treat! So let’s start the occult treasure hunt with ATROCITY. Congratulations to the terrific work “OKKULT”!
Here’s a short flashback into the past of the possibly most alterable and experimenting band in metal history:
In 1985, ATROCITY was formed. After the releases of the demo tape “Instigators” (1988) and the EP “Blue Blood” (1989) on Nuclear Blast (this EP is a rare collector’s item nowadays), ATROCITY presents their debut album ‘Hallucinations’ which was produced by Scott Burns at Morrisound Studio, Tampa/FL in 1990, a forerunner of technically skilled Death Metal. The cover artwork was done by HR Giger.
After international tour successes, ATROCITY releases ‘Todessehnsucht’ in 1992 via Roadrunner Records. They surprise the critics with classical elements and opera singers as guest musicians, to integrate them into their music. This bombastic sound brings ATROCITY in comparison with ‘Wagnerian moments’ and they manifest their reputation as a ‘band with extremely complex and well structured song ideas’.
In 1994 ‘Blut’ is released through Massacre Records. The Vampire concept is the red line in the entire album, and it enables the listener to feel the dark scenery and fascinating atmosphere of Transylvania. The creative output causes a very positive reaction from the press and fanbase: ATROCITY cannot be put into any stylistic category any more. The videoclip “Blut” was filmed on a Transilvanian castle.
Both CDs from 1995, ‘Calling the Rain’ and ‘Die Liebe’ are logical consequences of this. The song ‘Calling the rain’ from the ‘Blut’ album was so positively well received that ATROCITY decided to continue in this way. With the vocal support from Yasmin Krull, the band reaches a new atmospheric level. ‘Die Liebe’ is a groundbreaking teamwork from ATROCITY with the German Gothic Icon ‘Das Ich’. Both bands arranged songs of the other band to finally interpret them together. It is the first time that two bands from the Metal and the Gothic scene are working together which laid an important foundation stone for the Metal and Gothic crossover. ATROCITY finally managed to become a solid term for fans of Dark Wave and Electro music.
1996: ATROCITY’s album ‘Willenskraft’ gets the past, present and future right to the point with an arrangement of brutal riffing, hymnlike parts and atmospheric elements. ‘The definition of Kraft & Wille’ EP with its Electro and industriallike remixes is a bonus as well as a sequel to the cooperation with Das Ich and it also contains their classic ‘Gottes Tod’. As a complete contrary program you get the ‘The Hunt’ EP with brutal songs (including a remake of ‘Blue Blood’) which expressed the band’s gratitude to the Old School Friends for their long years of support. The limited video box ‘Kraft & Wille’ was another present to the loyal fans.
In 1997, ATROCITY decided once again to enter new musical grounds. The intention of ‘Werk 80’ was to transform pop-classics of the eighties into ATROCITY songs. The outcome was a wave of rapturousness in the clubs: with songs like ‘Wild Boys’, ‘Shout’ or ‘Der Mussolini’, the fans managed to dance them into the charts.
Before the end of the Millennium, ATROCITY released their first greatest hits album ‘Non Plus Ultra’ (1989-1999) with a lot of specials and the premiere of their first live show in the USA.
The following and successful chart album ‘Gemini’ (2000 on Motor/Universal) continued where Werk 80 has ended up. Electronic elements, a bilingual textual concept and even more essential structures, without loosing the typical ATROCITY – Originality.
After that, ATROCITY signed a worldwide record deal with Napalm Records and in 2004, the spectacular ‘Atlantis’ album was released. According to their tradition, the quintet preferred an entire concept album. ‘Atlantis’ is a very diversified and atmospheric Metal album, which contains bombastic, epic songs in which heaviness, atmosphere and melody work hand in hand to tell the story of Atlantis and the Golden Age. Besides engrossing the listener not only in a musical way, you find on ‘Atlantis’ a multimedia section with detailed information about the greatest myth of our time.
In 2008, ATROCITY brought back the 80s once again, heavier than ever before, by delivering thrilling arrangements of well-known songs such as “Smalltown Boy”, “The Sun Always Shines Of TV”, “Fade To Grey”, “People Are People”, or “Don’t You Forget About Me”. The cover model of the Top 20 chart album “Werk 80 II” is nobody else than fetish icon, Pin Up Star and world famous Burlesque artist Dita von Teese! Moreover, the hits from WERK 80 II were put in action with the help of a symphonic orchestra and a choir in the typically bombastic ATROCITY style.
Ethno meets Metal: In 2010, the metal chameleons forged another alliance with vocalist Yasmin (the sister of frontman and producer Alexander Krull). ATROCITY FEAT. YASMIN album, “After the Storm”, does not simply reiterate the sounds of the past, but rather elevates the songwriting and production to an entire new level. All instruments were performed live and the ample amount of percussion allows for a tapestry of complementary rhythms. No listener will remain untouched. The music of ATROCITY FEAT. YASMIN can only be described with one word: unique!
In 2012 it was time for ATROCITY to release a retrospect of their long spanning 25 year career.
The highlight of this splendid Double DVD, which also includes an audio CD, is the three-hour-long anthology film “Die Gottlosen Jahre”, completed over a period of many years.
More than 80 interviewees from the world of metal and gothic stepped up to the plate: Band members of CARCASS, ARCH ENEMY, KREATOR, DIMMU BORGIR, DEICIDE, OBITUARY, SODOM, LACRIMOSA, DAS ICH, OOMPH!, PAIN, CREMATORY, ENTOMBED, MORGOTH, NAPALM DEATH, PUNGENT STENCH, UMBRA ET IMAGO, SAMSAS TRAUM, GOETHES ERBEN, journalists (METAL HAMMER, ROCK HARD, SONIC SEDUCER, ZILLO etc.), labels (ROADRUNNER, NUCLEAR BLAST, NAPALM RECORDS), as well as deejays, photographers, and fans!
Also included was he 25th anniversary special show (performed at WACKEN OPEN AIR 2010 to a red-hot crowd led by frontman Alex Krull) or without an abundance of bonus material such as the documentary “No Sleep ‘Til Wacken”, the short “DREATH Sidestory ‘Underground’” featuring Alex Krull and Ralf Scheepers (PRIMAL FEAR), as well as a substantial collection of the band’s video clips, including some of their greatest hits (“Taste of Sin”, “Love Is Dead” and “Cold Black Days”), which were completely remastered to guarantee their fans the utmost enjoyment. As with all Mastersound Studio releases, the remaining material also boasts of a state-of- the-art production.
“Die Gottlosen Jahre” is an impressive audiovisual collection that will attest to the band’s cult status and allow it to linger for years to come.
A T R O C I T Y
Alexander Krull – vocals
Thorsten Bauer – guitar, bass
Sander van der Meer – guitar
Joris Nijenhuis – drums