Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Atrocity - Hallucinations

Atrocity are an oddity of a band; starting life as an unorthodox technical death metal beast, they morphed into a, well...atrocious goth metal band - complete with whinnying chick vocals. So suffice to say I don't care much for nowadays Atrocity albums, but Hallucinations is a horse of a very different color.
Released in that halcyon of death metal years 1990, Hallucinations tells the story of a drug addict's descent into hell, and the schizophrenic nature of the music certainly paints a vivd portrait. Leads come out of nowhere, bass breaks put you in the mood of jazz...the kind played in a jazzhole that is dank and degenerate, full of junkies looking to score that next fix. The songs are so inexorably fucked that I have to believe someone in the band was listening to Zappa or Beefheart. Many of the riffs are so bizarrely phrased as to be completely out of the death metal lexicon, especially for 1990!  
The amazing thing about Hallucinations is despite it's bizarreness, it carries some serious catchy hooks. Take the main introductory riff to the title track. That'll stick to ya like peanut butter.  There are only a few other death metal albums of that time that possess these unique characteristics of other-worldy eerieness and charming memorability (Nespithe, Soulside Journey, In Pains if you must know). A definitive classick of the weird-ass branch of old school death metal.

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