AlbumsFebruary 7, 20231,143 views

Atomwinter Sakrileg

1. Intro 2. Ov Blood and Flesh 3. The Lungs ov Hell 4. Brutal Scriptures 5. Catatonic Pathway 6. The Dark Void 7. Sakrileg 8. Cryptic Death 9. Until the Loss ov God 10. Born Into Iron Coffins 11. Sacred Scum
2023 Trollzorn Records
Our score 7


Germany has a lot to answer for. Musically speaking, they gave us everything from Scorpions, Rammstein, and Edguy to Traitor, Powerwolf, and Antipeewee. Teutonic metal has always carried a lot of variety and that extends well into more extreme territories with bands like Deserted Fear and Atomwinter. As far as the latter goes, it’s been a while since they’ve released anything, their last LP Catacombs coming out in 2018. Now, reinvigorated by a new singer (Florian Bauer, also of Burden of Grief and Hellforce), they plow onward in their war against God with Sakrileg.


To be very upfront, Sakrileg didn’t take hold for a few listens. At first, it does come off as one-note and borderline stale - a bit too devout to the proper old-school death metal tenets to fully sprout its devil wings and take flight. Luckily, there’s more detail to dig into that brings out that aforementioned German variety and raw enjoyment. Among other things, Atomwinter slam some D-beat rhythms into their anti-religious screeds, and commit fully to the aesthetic by saying “Ov” instead of “Of” flanked by impure, condemning lyrics.

Some of the vocal melodies and metering bleed together to the point where you think the album has looped when it’s just a track toward the end (“Until The Loss Ov God” and “Ov Blood And Flesh” are the worst offenders of this). Sonically, you’d be forgiven for mistaking some songs for others as you get a feel for what little unique textures, tones, and groove Sakrileg does have.

“The Dark Void” for instance makes up for its generic name with some of the most pronounced guitar melodies on the whole album. It just marches through its 4:43 runtime with driving riffs that demand attention and lockstep double-bass drumming that gets the feet tapping. “Cryptic Death” is similarly nuanced, powering through one of the shorter tracks on the album with efficiency and an awesome feel across all instruments. It’s cliché as hell, but the song has a great rhythm to nod your head to - drums are splashy, guitars grind with a visceral granola crunch, and the simple-yet-effective chant of “cryptic… death” on the hook is fun.


Likewise, the title track has a bloody affair with the band’s more punked-out side, serving up textbook D-beat rhythms to quicken the pace before burning away with choral vocals and dejected atmosphere. It’s all capped off by a curdled scream of “God is deeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaad!” at the end of the track which would make even the most staunch teenage nihilists blush a bit (speaking of, the man who made that phrase a thing was philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche - Germans have had this game on lock for some time now).

It’s not like Atomwinter are going to be blasting down doors with this album on a grand scale, but what’s here is nice. What could have become another smear on the ground of the fields of war against God is buoyed by some exceptional writing and execution. Others might find the cleaner production on here a betrayal of the rougher sound and aesthetic captured on Catacombs and prior works, but it’s serviceable and forced the band to provide all the grit themselves - mission accomplished.


Bottom line: You could do a hell of (sorry - ov) a lot worse than Sakrileg, and though the opposite is true as well, Atomwinter have still crafted a devilishly delightful death metal/D-beat deluge ov deity desecration. As we seem to always be on the edge ov another full-blown Satanic Panic, perhaps it’s music like this that will be the hammer to smash out would-be moralists and reactionaries. If it doesn’t come to those metaphorical and spiritual blows, then at least this album holds up as a solid reminder that it’s still fun to blaspheme sometimes.


Post Comment
anonymous 40 days ago

Blasphemy is sooooo cool. I'm also trans and in antifa, so it goes hand in hand. I wish Harry Potter Legacy wasn't so successful.

anonymous 40 days ago

This guy f*cking sucks, am I right?

anonymous 40 days ago

Needs more ov's

anonymous 40 days ago

"Blasphemy is sooooo cool. I'm also trans and in antifa, so it goes hand in hand. I wish Harry Potter Legacy wasn't so successful." ^ I too am also a gay liberal.