Atrocity seem like they have been around forever. In reality, their first record came out in 1990 but for some reason, they just seem like they have been putting out records much longer. Maybe it’s the various experiments he has taken with the band (80s pop, industrial, goth), but Alex Krull’s latest opus, ATLANTIS, is nothing short of spectacular. Spread out over 15 tracks, we have black metal, goth, industrial, pop, death and atmospheric. This is a very bold move to allocate so many styles to a single entity, but as with other Atrocity releases, it works. This is a concept album surrounding the mysterious lost city of Atlantis. Along with the heavy elements, Krull has employed the use of operatic female vocals, string sections and loads of samples and effects. The outcome can be quite overwhelming and even requires a few listens to really absorb the epic nature of the whole package.
“Reich of Phenomena” and “Clash of the Titans” are full-on symphonic black metal complete with operatic vocals, some spoken word sections and a killer vocal from Krull himself. The downtuned riff of “Gods of Nations” borders on Korn/Soulfly territory, but with bombastic choir-like vocals in the chorus. More operatic female vocals appear on “Enigma,” “Clash of the Titans” and “Omen,” which is filled with haunting chants by the female singers. “Cold Black Days” is an excellent gothic rock song similar to newer Tiamat with its clean vocals and heavy keyboard element. “Apocalypse” features some great blastbeats and hyperspeed drumming from Martin Schmidt and blackened death growls from Krull. Strangely, “The Sunken Paradise” features the same chorus as “Gods of Nations” but with slightly different vocals. Both songs are terribly catchy and among the highlights on the record. “Lost Eden” and “Ein Volk” are two instrumental pieces that fit nicely in the scheme of things.
ATLANTIS was four years in the making and the results are breathtaking. Krull should be proud of this work as his songwriting and vision have never been more focused and engaging. How he will top this I don’t know, but I can’t wait to see him try.
KILLER KUTS: “Reich of Phenomena,” “Gods of Nations,” “Cold Black Days,” “Apocalypse,” “The Sunken Paradise”
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