Originally written by David Ochoa.
Metal has become a busy, busy market, and no doubt the recently reunited Atrocity are aware of that fact as we consider Contaminated, an eighteen minute taster EP of ten reworked grindin’ death tracks from, can you believe it, 1990.
Being unfamiliar with the album from which these songs originate, I can’t comment on the band’s revisions, but if their early work is as visceral and downright fun as this EP, I won’t be long in following up on a career that spans from as early as 1985. “Enslaved In Turmoil” establishes Atrocity’s modus operandi immediately–big thrashing death riffs that are slammed out in a madly buzzing grindcore bass sound that wonderfully overpowers the typically paper-thin late eighties guitar wash. It’s a damn dirty sound, and damn dirty good fun too, with Jeff White smash blasting his tinny, overloud kit as if drunkenly falling over it, and Rich Flint howling out of a throat that sounds like it’s passed a dozen too many shots of bleach. Although the longest songs here barely breach the three-minute mark, and most of them significantly shorter, each is catchy, brutal and variated. “Slave To Conformity”, “Unseen Death” and “Contamination” all feature infectiously headbangable riffs that are constantly being usurped by fairly typical but highly frenzied blasts, while “Infested” and “Cycle Of Despair” highlight a refreshing fluidity that sees excellent grooves jostle with unpredictable tempo shifts. Topping off this already potent mix are chaotic, atonal solos that are worked into the songs as entertaining, short-lived and almost comedic highlights rather than lengthy structure fillers. The alacrity of a six-second, Morbid Angel-esque sweeping guitar shriek right at the end of “Redeemed By Confession”, and spattered briefly throughout the other tracks like molehills on a golf course, is just too boisterous a touch to dismiss.
If vintage material from bands like Repulsion, Terrorizer or Nunslaughter get your chastity belts in a molten twist, then by all means don’t miss out on Atrocity a second time round. It’s raucous, middle-finger-up death metal at its most energetic.