Saturday, 10 March 2012

ATROCITY - Hallucinations (1990)

01  Deep in Your Subconscious
02  Life is a Long and Silent River
03  Fatal Step
04  Hallucinations
05  Defeated Intellect
06  Abyss of Addiction
07  Hold Out (To The End) 
08  Last Temptation

Considering the technicality of the album you’d expect Atrocity to name the likes of Gorguts and Atheist among their influences but in fact it’s vice versa. This album was released in 1990, which makes it all the more impressive and Luc Lemay even went so far as to cite this and its predecessor “Todessehnsucht” as his main sources of inspiration for the much acclaimed “The Erosion of Sanity”. Of course Atheist released “Piece of Time” in the same year but the complexity and overall intensity of “Hallucinations” makes it a far more captivating listen.

Unlike other experimental bands, Atrocity don’t mess about with jazz sections or clean settings. The sound remains firmly rooted in the death metal camp for the whole album and a gloomy, decadent atmosphere shrouds every song despite the dynamic song structures. This is authentic head banging material. At times we have blistering pace (though sometimes to the extent that we don’t have a notion of what is going on) and at other times we have the slow, crunchy breakdowns which are reminiscent of early Autopsy. Sounds like every death metal band ever right?

Lyrically “Hallucinations” is a concept album, telling the story of a girl who gets sexually abused as a child, becomes a junkie and eventually dies of an OD. It does take a while to get into this album properly due to the technicality of the music but when you do, you can’t but worship it. My only complaint is about the production, the snare drum is too loud and the guitars are a bit too low in the mix but this is a minor thing. If you listen closely enough, you’ll catch all the details. “Hallucinations” is a must for all fans of frantic technical death metal.

The album includes the following warning note: The characters, places and incidents described in Hallucinations are the product of Alex Krull's imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locations is entirely coincidental. Re-issued by Nuclear Blast Records with the tracks of the Blue Blood EP as bonus tracks. That version was re-released in the late 90s by Massacre Records, with 5 live bonus tracks, with a total of 16 songs.

Cover illustrationby H.R. Giger, titled Work Nº 93, “Hommage an S. Beckett I”.

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