Atrocity – Die Gottlosen Jahre (2012)

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Celebrating their 25 years in the Metal music scene, today we received a copy of Atrocity’s epic DVD/CD set “Die Gottlosen Jahre”. Featuring 300 minutes of video content, this two DVD package delivers one of the most in-depth and comprehensive documentaries about Metal music with a particular focus on Atrocity’s revolutionary trajectory since the early days of German Thrash/Death Metal to their latest incursion into the Ethno/Folk of “After The Storm”.

The documentary DVD lasts around 3 hours and features a plethora of interviews with the main players of the Metal scene during the times Atrocity was revolutionizing and breaking boundaries. Starting since the good old days of tape trading when Atrocity first came into the picture, it is quite interesting how they interview people that have been there for the band since the very beginning and have some of the craziest stories about them.

Documenting their insane tours in the late 80’s / early 90’s, we get tons of pictures and rare footage of the band performing alongside Carcass, Entombed, etc. We particularly like the description of the recording process and ideas behind each album; this provides a very unique perspective behind each of the band’s unique and pioneering style changes. With interviews with the band’s label execs at the time, it shows the level of support they have always had to push the boundaries of Metal, and also shows a very firm band that knew exactly what it wanted at each stage in their career thanks to the leadership of Alexander Krull.

The sections we liked the most is when they document their early incursion into Gothic music territory with “Todessehnsucht”, “Blut”, and very bluntly with “Die Liebe”. Listening to Tilo Wolf and Oswald Henke praising the band for their bravery to bridge genres just made our day. Paying a lot of attention to each album, this documentary is more than any fan could every ask for in order to immerse themselves in the band’s history. We will skip the first whole Ethno/Acoustic/Folk incursion that while revolutionary; it was not a huge success with us (we completely deleted of our brains “Calling the Rain”) or with some label execs and friends of the band that bluntly say they did not like it (you got to love Germans and their honesty).

Reaching to the band’s “commercial” pinnacle with the release of “Gemini”, it is quite interesting to hear all the expectations behind this release and how the combination of bad timing with the rising of more commercially inclined bands didn’t allow them to take a bigger spotlight. However, the band seems to take everything with philosophy, and Alexander Krull and Thorsten Bauer seem to have gotten over it and just focus on the positive side to things.

Going into the “Werk” albums, we see how the band really innovated by bringing back the 80’s in a very unique way. We particularly love both of these albums and their excellent arrangements to songs like “Shout”, “The Sound of Silence”, and “The Sun Always Shines on TV”. Allowing this kind of access to the band’s history is something very rare in anniversary DVD’s, but Atrocity has managed to pull it off perfectly.

In general, we believe that this documentary DVD is one of the best ones we have ever seen in terms of interviews, back stage footage, and anecdotes from the band and friends. The additional DVD features their 25 year anniversary performance at Wacken 2010, with a set-list covering old and new songs and their amazing pyro show. The band’s stage presence is amazing and this concert captures their massive sound and great show (stripper dancers!!). The audio CD has all of these songs available for listening on the go.

If you are a fan of Atrocity, you MUST get this release since it will teach you a few things that you might have never imagined or known about the band. The unrestricted access to the band and their friends makes for very interesting stories and information. Even if you don’t like the band too much, this documentary will teach you about the history of the Metal Scene and how it evolved in a particular direction, sorry no Black Metal pandas in this one.

Band: Atrocity Album: Die Gottlosen Jahre
Label: Napalm Records

Release: March 30th, 2012

Oficial Site myspace

Genre: Extreme Metal

Country: Germany

Rating: 90/100
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