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Atrocia > Contamination > Reviews > Edmund Sackbauer
Atrocia - Contamination

Atrocia - Contamination - 87%

Edmund Sackbauer, November 22nd, 2022
Written based on this version: 2022, CD, Great Dane Records (Digipak)

Great Dane Records do not show any signs of slowing things down. They keep churning out releases in a very stable manner. While there are some surprises at times most of their stuff follows quite a same formula. Their latest addition to the roster comes in form of Atrocia, another French death metal act. They have been active for quite a while with “Contamination” being their third full length since starting off. What we got here is 44 minutes of straight forward material, somewhere between the more hefty 90s stuff and a few modern influences.

Traditional Florida riffing embedded in a very fast and aggressive rhythm section builds the backbone. The lead melodies range from being disturbing and disharmonic to melancholic and a bit more uplifting. Because of the well planned succession of chaotic and straight-forward parts there is not one moment of boredom over the whole playing time. Atrocia know how to switch between some crazy hammering pieces and groove oriented sections with ease. The drumming is tight and precise without being pushed too much into the foreground, although it got a slightly synthetic sound as if done by drum computer. The bass on the other hand has a very warm and prominent tone, underlining the nodes to the old school bands Atrocia obviously adore.

There are quite a few tempo and rhythm shifts as well as some chugging parts, but the melodic lead harmonies are always present. Some of the tracks are more memorable than others, but in the end this album is fun to listen to from start to finish. The songwriting skills of the five guys are really great, and there are a few surprisingly haunting and intense moments, but also some more harmonic hooks pitched against the pummeling attacks that are going to stick with the listener after the first spin. Each track has some remarkable riffs that are sliced and diced throughout and pitched against some impressive chunks of lead guitar work.

Things get off to a rolling start with opener “Unleashing the Insurgency” where Atrocia do not waste too much time and hammer away. In the middle part a really nice mid-tempo groove finds its way into the song, and together with the stoic lead chords it is a really nice showcase for what Atroica are all about. They continue more or less in this vein, sometimes a bit slower, but for the majority within high speed regions. Their magnum opus comes with the last song “Embrace the Venom”, clocking in at over seven minutes. They really take their time with this one and let the track move in various directions before always finding its way back into the blasting grooves.

The vocals are pretty traditionally, quite deep but not overly cavernous. The production is good and certainly fits the music. All in all “Contamination” is a very well written and executed piece of pure death metal, and fans of the style should give it a listen. Nothing trendy, just pure and honest stuff.