Review by Felix on October 3, 2023.
Integrity is an important feature both within and outside the music business. Well, you will not be surprised that I focus on the latter. This is where Atrocity appear on the radar. Unfortunately not because of their integrity, but in view of their absolute lack of credibility. M-A characterizes their style as “various”. This alone speaks volumes. We are at the crossroad. Do we speak about virtuosos who cannot stay within just one stylistic frame or are we confronted with avaricious jesters?
To be clear: Okkult III would not exist if soft shit like the truly atrocious 'Calling The Rain' would have been commercially successful. But it seems that this plan did not work. Everyone who has ever heard this tune is not surprised. So now comes Okkult III, naturally disgraced with a ridiculous, wannabe-shocking artwork. The album is over-produced and wants to be as harsh as possible. Yet this approach is childish in view of the fickleness of its protagonists. This bastard of death / black metal has its (rare) moments, for example at the beginning of 'Cypka', and I do not say that the music is absolute bullshit. Yet it is also true that it lacks great parts I want to listen to again and again. Due to both the sterile and soulless mix and the history of the group, words like betrayal or trickery come to my mind. If one is able to ignore these things… okay, maybe you can lend an ear here, especially if you like bands like Belphegor or Impalement. I must confess that this kind of music does not trigger any emotions in me. Inter alia the often used blast beats rather hurt than increase the dynamic of the songs.
Adding insult to injury, the songwriting skills are average at best. There is nothing that keeps sticking in the brain. I thought they were experts for easily consumable music since “Calling…”, at least Alexander Krull, but I was wrong. Okay, 'Malicious Sukkubus' houses some Dimmu vibes that want to leave a lasting aroma, but the opera-like background choirs are nothing for my mother’s son. Of ourse, Krull’s monotonous, genre-typical vocals aren’t better, but this is another story.
All in all, the album has a very formulaic touch. Each and every part has been performed many times before by myriads of other bands. I miss personality, ambition and skills. Of course, I do not expect something completely new, but if you walk on trodden paths, you should have very good shoes at least. Instead, Atrocity deliver stereotyped lyrics like “demons of war unite” or “they all were born to kill”. How frightening. Thus, even the lyrical topics do not add value to the album and so I cannot find any component which draws me into Okkult III. But before I forget to answer the question of the first paragraph: I tend to the jester-alternative. The band should call the rain again in order to stop the climate change or they should call it a day.
Rating: 1.5 out of 10637
Review by Michael on January 5, 2023.
After 5 years German death metal legends Atrocity will finally close their "Okkult" trilogy with the very simple title Okkult III which isn't the biggest surprise after Okkult and Okkult II. If you have followed the band throughout the years you already know that there were some musical changes in their 35-years career starting with very technical death metal on Hallucinations and Todessehnsucht changing to some more groovy and folky stuff in the mid of the 90s with Blut and Calling The Rain leading to some 80s pop song worship with Werk 80 which all were pretty polarizing albums back then. Fortunately the guys found back to old death metal strength in the midst of 00s with Atlantis and then with the Okkult saga.
The album starts with a very gloomy intro which leads straight into a death metal inferno which has a superb production. Powerful blast beats and a fantastic guitar work with some really stunning solos go hand in hand with Alex's deep and hateful vocals. 'Desecration Of God' is a goddamn great start for the album and shows straight from the start what we have to expect: brutal but still groovy and catchy death metal with some slight modern touches here and there. On Okkult III the brutal aspect of death metal is much more in the focus than it was on its predecessors on which also were some dystopian tunes (for example 'Menschenschlachthaus'). 'Fire Ignites' is maybe the most brutal song on the album with some really sick riffs (sometimes it sounds like a thrashier version of old Morbid Angel) and one of the best vocal performances Alex did within the last years. But Atrocity also put two calmer tracks on the album. 'Cypka' starts with some really atmospheric guitar tunes just to explode after a while. 'Malicious Succubus' also starts with some demonic female chants which remind of old Dimmu Borgir or Covenant and which turns out to be a very galloping and catchy song in its running time. In the song some keyboards and female vocals underline the dark atmosphere. And since I mentioned female vocals. In 'Malicious Succubus' Elina Siirala (Leaves Eyes) and Zoe Marie Federoff (Cradle Of Filth) had some guest appearances. Other guest musicians on the album are Misstiq and Robse Dahn (Equilibrium) who you can hear in 'Teufelsmarsch'. If you care about the lyrics – most deal with some dark chapters of mankind such as about the Polish serial killer Josef Cyppek ('Cypka'), some German conspiracies after the WWI ('Born To Kill'), paranormal stuff ('Faces From Beyond') or some other occult conspiracies ('Bleeding For Blasphemy')
Okkult III is a very good end for this furious trilogy and if you liked what Atrocity did in the last 15 years, you will not be disappointed with this album. A good start into the metallic 2023 and as we say in German – “Ein fettes Brett”!
Rating: 9 out of 10 Bretter637