Dennis : The first thing that strikes me with this release is the incredibly cool album cover, which shows a catacomb containing tons of skeletons, decomposing corpses and filthy vermin. In the center of the catacomb sits the zombie eating panzer witch, that was depicted on other album covers of the band’s earlier releases, all of which were drawn with great eye for detail by the German illustrator Johannes Kiesselbach.
Atomwinter from the German city of Göttingen, is an old school death metal bands, and ‘Catacombs’ will be their third full length album release. With their first two albums ‘Atomic Death Metal’ from 2012 and ‘Iron Flesh’ from 2015 the band build up a strong following in their home country and shows with Macabre and God Dethroned and on their show on Party San Open Air Festival gained them a solid live reputation. This February ‘Catacombs’ will be released by the German label Trollzorn Records, which specializes in Pagan/Viking and Folk Metal. Luckily, Atomwinter plays a whole different sort of metal and is heavily influenced by the Dutch death doom metal band Asphyx and veteran death metal heroes Bolt Thrower.
The album starts with an ominous cello intro followed by nine pretty straight forward old school death metal tracks, with relatively simple yet heavy riffing, from fast death metal juggernauts to menacing doom metal and everything in between. Guitars tuned down, riffing and grinding to the blastbeats and rolling bassdrums and once in a while throwing a howling solo in between. Raw and filthy are the brutal death metal grunts from singer Olle Holzschneider, whose voice fits the music of Atomwinter perfectly. The album contains all the ingredients an old school death metal release needs to have and my overall opinion about this album is that it is a decent record that will probably not shake the world. Atomwinter does not really have their own unique style and the compositions are not of the excellent quality that will make you forget the band isn’t original. I would always prefer a Bolt Thrower or Asphyx record above one from Atomwinter. Like I said ‘Catacombs’ is a decent record, but it is also too average to become really excited about.