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After three crappy albums in a row (starting with 1994’s “Blut”), I was sure Atrocity had forgotten what metal was all about. Come 1996, the band perhaps came to the conclusion that it was time to make amends and give those fans who had been with them since the beginning some real metal stuff.
OK, so “The Hunt” contains only one new track but this EP is at least wholly free of acoustic stuff and collaborations with Das Ich. The new track is also the title track and this one is fantastic. Brutal, fast and pretty straightforward death metal, less technical than the first two full-lenghts, more like back to the “Blue Blood” days. The vocals are really evil and pitch-shifted quite low. I was very positively surprised to hear this kind of stuff from Atrocity again. It’s just too bad that this new track is under two minutes long, the enjoyment is over too fast. The second track is a re-recording of the title track of the “Blue Blood” EP. This re-recording isn’t really different from the original, the only major difference I noticed was that they’ve dropped the short drum intro.
I’m a bit confused when it comes to “I’m in Darkness”. One source claims it’s a ’96 remake, another that it’s a ’93 demo version. However, I’m inclined to believe that it’s indeed a ’93 demo version, since it sounds very much like something from the “Blut” era sound wise. The sound is a bit less polished than that of the final version but otherwise there aren’t any big differences. My opinion is still that the death metal parts of this track are great but that the nu metal parts suck. The demo version of “Unspoken Names” is a bit rougher in sound than the final version and the snare drum has an annoying hollow sound. The guitars are a bit lower in the mix than on the album version and the bass in turn a bit louder. The last track is “Hold Out (to the End)” from “Hallucinations” in a four-tracker rehearsal version. This is of course the roughest sounding track here. The drums and vocals tend to drown out the guitars but when Alex doesn’t sing you can hear the riffs pretty well.
“The Hunt” isn’t essential stuff for Atrocity fans. Even if the new track is good and the re-recording is nice, as a whole this EP isn’t that important. I would’ve preferred more new stuff. It’s of course interesting to hear demo and rehearsal versions of old songs but in this case these don’t differ much from the official versions (except for the fact that the sound on “Hold Out (to the End)” is much worse), so I can’t help seeing this as a bit of a cash-in.