Atrocity - After The Storm
Napalm Records
Folk Metal
11 songs (42:29)
Release year: 2010
Atrocity, Napalm Records
Reviewed by Khelek

Atrocity is not a name I would immediately associate with folk metal, but that is what this German band is bringing to the table in their eleventh full length album. I was interested in this album for a couple reasons. First, I hadn't heard much about this band, though I assumed it was a death metal band that changed styles over the course of their career due to the name. Secondly these are the same guys who formed Leaves' Eyes with Liv Kristine and released an excellent album last year, which I reviewed here. Now Atrocity is back with After The Storm, a more unique approach to folk metal than I have heard in awhile and more proof that these guys really know what they're doing when it comes to songwriting as well as the technical aspects of music. The album features Alexander Krull's sister Yasmin for the female vocals and she usually fits quite well with the sound they're going for.

To give you an idea of what you can expect from this album, the album title itself fits quite well. The music reminds me of standing outside after a big thunderstorm, everything is quiet and still, until animals begin to emerge as the clouds pass by and the sun comes out again. It is quite a low-key album for any metal outfit. I would say they bear some similarities to bands such as Battlelore and Eluveitie, but their folk/tribal tendencies are a bit more pronounced than the aforementioned acts. The second track, The Call Of Yesteryear, is the first one that really catches my attention with its blend of traditional folk elements and unobtrusive yet memorable guitar parts. Its only weakness is that it's a quite repetitive song, but it keeps me interested most of the time and isn't too long. The title track and similarly Silvan Spirit are both acoustic, repetitive folk tracks that don't do a whole lot for me. It might be different for those who really enjoy traditional Celtic and northern European folk music, but overall I found them forgettable. Black Mountain begins with some creeping guitars until the tension breaks and heavy drums and riffs burst in. This is an epic track that really shows what the band is capable of when they set their mind to writing a really great song. It's the longest song on the album but it keeps things interesting with growls from Krull and heavy guitar riffs layered over Yasmin's traditional folk singing style.

The music itself has some strong tribal elements, particularly in the drumming, that are interesting and not heard in much folk metal these days. These guys are clearly really trying to set themselves apart and it's working from what I can tell. The songs, especially the more "metal" ones are pretty memorable without having to resort to the same overused riffs and leads. Transilvania is a short and pretty simple song, but it is quite catchy and memorable thanks to the rhythmic drumming and catchy riffs. I really like the classical guitar work in The Flight of Abbas Ibn Firna and Goddess Of Fortune And Sorrow continues with more interesting acoustic guitar work. It's mostly just another acoustic piece, but it does have some memorable clean vocal harmonies from the Krulls and some good melodies going on. Eternal Nightside closes the album out nicely with acoustic guitars once again and the usual array of folk instruments. This time an actual mood and atmosphere is created though and it really works well.

This is a decent album that blends folk and metal in a way that isn't heard very much these days. I am somewhat reminded of Eluveitie's recent acoustic release, though this album does have some heavier, more aggressive tracks. It does tend to be centered a little more on folk than metal however, so if you enjoy plenty of folk mixed with your metal I would suggest picking this up. While not the best example of folk metal out there, the band is really striving to create something different. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but ultimately there are enough strong tracks to keep me coming back.

Killing Songs :
Call Of Yesteryear, Black Mountain, Transilvania, Goddess Of Fortune And Sorrow
Khelek quoted 74 / 100
Other albums by Atrocity that we have reviewed:
Atrocity - Atlantis reviewed by Jack and quoted 85 / 100
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