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Atrocity - Werk 80 II

Published March 01 2008

=Staff's pick

People Are People (Depeche Mode Cover)*
Smalltown Boy (Bronski Beat Cover)
Relax (Frankie Goes To Hollywood Cover)*
Don't You (Forget About Me) (Simple Minds Cover)*
The Sun Always Shines on TV (A-HA Cover)
Hey Little Girl (Icehouse Cover)
Fade To Grey (Visage Cover)
Such A Shame (Talk Talk Cover)
Keine Heimat (Ideal Cover)
Here Comes The Rain Again (Eurythimics Cover)*
Forever Young (Alphaville Cover)
Feels Like Heaven (Fiction Factory Cover)

Genre Gothic/Industrial Metal
Alexander Krull
Tracks 12
Thorsten Bauer
Runningtime 46 Min.
Mathias Röderer
Label Napalm Records
Chris Lukhaup
Release 29 Feb. 2008
Martin Schmidt
Country Germany
Similar artists Leaves' Eyes, Northern Kings, Godess Of Desire

I've always appreciated Atrocity, to be blunt; I enjoy their experimental flair. After reading a great review for Todessehnsucht in Metal Maniacs, I purchased this title just to hear their Death cover of Archangel. Shortly thereafter, I treated myself to Hallucinations for my birthday, along with Immolation's Dawn Of Possession.

Coincidentally, I went to Milwaukee Metalfest in '98 to see Angra, Zandelle, Rotting Christ, & Cradle Of Filth, not expecting to witness Atrocity perform after Immolation. I had lost track of them over the years. When Alex Krull announced his new wife Liv Kristine and they performed The Great Commandment, I immediately tuned in. I have always enjoyed the music of Camouflage, and I am a dedicated fan of early Theatre Of Tragedy. I was dead tired, struggling to focus, restless from lack of sleep, as our drunken metal sister had willingly given Mortician our hotel room, leaving us out in the streets. When they began playing 80's covers, most death metal heads made their exodus; but I was instantly entranced.

For the next year I eagerly sought out as much Atrocity as I could afford. Back then, I dished out $25 just for Werk 80. It was so worth it, as it was very original. Only the amazing ABBA Tribute by several power metal bands, or Pat Boone's - In A Metal Mood - could compare. I've always been a fan of the 80's music, no matter how it was classified. I've been ensconced in all things metal for three decades, but most music of the Reagan era ruled.

Werk 80 embodied the balance of metal and Euro-pop. When I heard about plans for a sequel, years ago, I was so psyched. I envisioned covers of truly great bands like Big Country, Erasure, Thompson Twins, New Order, Modern English, The Vapours, R.E.M., etc. I imagined Atrocity's stance on measures like Steeltown, Ditch Witch, Hold Me Now, The Perfect Kiss, Life in The Gladhouse, News At 10, Radio Free Europe, etc. All those songs deserve the metal treatment. It's like those Atari & Nintendo games, they just carry an infectious element.

I was really longing for deathlike renditions of the new wave; more Camouflage, less Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Unfortunately, too much time has passed, and the overall effort is supererogatory, and in vain. In just the last year glam godz Poison infected us with covers of The Cars & The Romantics. The fading empire of the promised Queensrÿche took cover under the blood red sky of U2, and called the Police; meanwhile Tesla twice decided to keep it Real To Reel.

Although, Children Of Bodom & Graveworm have created some great 80's effigies, the whole schtick is now becoming sickened by the scheme. That said, Firewind's version of the Flashdance track - Maniac on their new album - The Premonition - is stellar. Werk 80 II is an enjoyable listen, but not essential. The song themselves have character and personality; but many could easily be misconstrued as Atrocity originals, given their penchant for panache.

People Are People, indeed, but Atrocity covering Depeche Mode is like Paul Di'Anno covering Maiden or Primal Fear & Cage covering Judas Priest. Moonspell & In Flames do personal justice to the depressed mods better. Smalltown Boy is better with the use of choirs, but who is familiar with Bronski Beat? Relax is a ruse, as it provides a brutal and abrasive element to an otherwise very effeminate suggestion. Just imagine what the wild boys could do with Wham..."Wake me up before I go, go!". Don't You Forget About Me is truly not simple minded, and is very well done, making for a great single: but I prefer the more evocative version by Life Of Agony.

Loving wife Liv lends her warming touch to The Sun Always Shines On TV, and French femme fatale' Jensara Swann narrates in her sultry, seductive tone for Fade To Grey. Here Comes The Rain Again is definitely the best song with such earnest emotion, and heartfelt orchestrations. Only Marilyn Manson can besmirch such an amazing duo of dynamic talent as The Eurythimics.

Overall, it is such a shame, as this is a noble effort, just a little too much, too late; especially given the loss of longstanding members Chris Lukhaup & Martin Schmidt. It will be interesting to hear Alla Fedynitch & Nicholas Howard Barker rage hard in a live environment, given their early efforts. Would not it be excellent if Leaves' Eyes were to shout out some selections when they tour, too?

I'm very excited about the Napalm remasters for most Atrocity releases. You may choose to spend your money on Blut or Gemini, instead. I'm anticipating the extras on the first Werk 80. If you are searching for a more enjoyable take on the 80's, check out Northern Kings. They metalize Lionel Ritchie, Peter Gabriel, & Cutting Crew. With Thriller celebrating it's 25th Anniversary, here's hoping some truly talented metal acts band together and do an off the wall, but befitting tribute to pop icon: Michael Jackson.








6,5 chalices of 10 - Michael the MettleAngel

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