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GERMANY, Baden-Württemberg, Ludwigsburg

Date Formed 1985

Categories: Death Metal, Gothic


Founded in Ludwigsburg during 1985, initially billed as INSTIGATOR citing a line-up of erstwhile RIPPER vocalist Alex Krull, guitarists Mathias Röderer and Frank Knodel, bassist René Tometschek and Gernot Winkler on the drums. Re-billed as ATROCITY, they issued the October 1988 five track demo 'Instigators'. The band duly signed to Nuclear Blast Records and, enlisting BELCHING BEET drummer Michael Schwarz, released the 'Blue Blood' EP in 1989. The single was intended to come in two limited edition formats - as a gatefold cover, green vinyl version of 200 copies and a gatefold-cover, blue vinyl variant limited to a slightly more generous 500 copies. However, a mistake during manufacturing would produce a third, highly sought after run of just 50 copies in black vinyl, mispressed with RIGHTEOUS PIGS tracks on one side. The sleeve artwork presented problems as ATROCITY's original intention to depict Lady Diana and Prince Charles splattered in blood was vetoed by the printing company. Undaunted, the band photocopied the sleeves by hand.

The follow up came with the Scott Burns produced 'Hallucinations' album, recorded in Florida the following year and clad in distinctive H.R. Giger artwork. For these sessions ATROCITY re-aligned its line up, inducting guitarist Richard Scharf and bassist Oliver Klasen. The departing Tometschek subsequently formed MIGHTY DECIBEL, releasing an EP 'Relieve The Distress'.

ATROCITY toured Europe as support to CARCASS in 1990, SODOM in 1991 and DEICIDE in 1992. That year the 'Todessehnsucht' album was delivered for Roadrunner Records, this effort seeing the band branching out into grand orchestral arrangements. Without consent from the band Roadrunner issued the record in North America under the anglicised title 'Longing For Death'. The 1993 European ''Todessehnsucht über Deutschland' headline tour saw DARK MILLENIUM as support. Proposed US dates allied with DEATH would unfortunately be curtailed.

In 1994 ATROCITY, drafting Markus Knapp to substitute for Klasen, signed to the Massacre label for the 'Blut' album. In keeping with the vampiresque theme of the project Krull and band mates travelled to Transylvania in order to imbibe some creative energies. Although the production of 'Blut' would be slated by the group the promotion, including video clips shot for 'Calling The Rain' and 'Miss Directed', was high. In support of the record the band supported OBITUARY on their British tour, following cancellation by EYEHATEGOD, and also put in shows alongside PITCH SHIFTER, CREMATORY and HATE SQUAD. In early 1995 the band underwent a line-up change, substituting Scharf and Markus Knapp for guitarist Torsten Bauer, citing credits with ENSLAVED, BATTLE ANGEL, STRADIVERI and THRASH MASSACRE, and bassist Chris Lukhamp of SCARAB, WHITE KRAUTS and CORPUS CHRISTI, respectively.

Not content to rest on their laurels, ATROCITY undertook some brave experimentation of sounds for their two 1995 releases. 'Calling The Rain' was graced with an ethnic lead vocal from Alex's sister Yasmin Krull whilst 'Die Liebe' was a joint project with electronic band DAS ICH,

To promote the 'Willenskraft' album ATROCITY toured Germany on a package tour with strong support from IN FLAMES, HEAVENWOOD and TOTENMOND. Strangely the band began to attract media attention for supposed far right political imagery but ATROCITY made their feelings clear on this issue at the 'Wacken Open Air' festival in 1996 as they symbolically destroyed a giant swastika during 'Willenskraft', encouraged by applause from thousands of fans. Drummer Michael Schwarz busied himself in a variety of extracurricular band projects including Mincecore act BELCHING BEET, Crustcore merchants ACCION MUTANTE and Gothic veterans UMBRA ET IMAGO.

Experimenting further still, the 1997 single 'Shout' is ATROCITY's interpretation of TEARS FOR FEARS hit song and also includes a version of D.A.F.'s 'Verschwende Deine Jugend'. Following the tradition of diversity set previously, the 'Shout' single proved to be a taster for the 'Werk 80' album, a collection of cover versions by pop artists such as O.M.D., DAVID BOWIE, DURAN DURAN, FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD, HUMAN LEAGUE and even SOFT CELL. The album's impact was sustained with a later 'Festivals edition' adding three extra tracks, a cover of D.A.F.'s 'Das letzte mal', 'Die Deutschmaschine' and 'Verschwende deine Jugend'. The band's prolonged tenacity finally paid rewards when they achieved their first chart album, 'Werk 80' entering the German placings at number 33, the sales figures for which must in some respect be married to a tasteful advertising campaign featuring the two models chosen for the single and album artwork. The momentum would be maintained by the 33 track retrospective 'Non Plus Ultra' compiled of ATROCITY's latest hits plus videos and archive and rare material.

ATROCITY would delve into cover versions once more during 2000, releasing a version of SIMON & GARFUNKEL's 'The Sound Of Silence' as a single. The accompanying album, 'Gemini', would be issued in two different versions. Variants with a red sleeve would include the old wartime marching song track 'Lili Marleen' in English whilst blue covers offered the track in German.

In September 2002 ATROCITY would hook up with IN EXTREMO for a short run of dates in Mexico. During recording of tracks for a new studio album slated for 2003 issue the group, bringing in former FROM THY ASHES and TEABAG guitarist Sebastian Schult, contributed a cover version of THE SISTERS OF MERCY's 'More' for a tribute album.

Guitarist Thorsten Bauer rejoined the band in April 2003 as that same year he also sessioned on the ERBEN DER SCHȪPFUNG 'Twilight' album, produced by Alex Krull with Martin Schmidt on session drums. July bore witness to some high profile Rock n' Roll wedding bells as Krull married long term girlfriend THEATRE OF TRAGEDY singer Liv Kristine Espenæs. This marital union spilled over into a creative force with the announcement of a brand new band LEAVES EYES, seeing Liv Kristine Espenæs Krull and Alexander Krull founding a fresh venture with members of ATROCITY.

The 2004 ATROCITY album 'Atlantis', recorded at Mastersound Studio in Fellbach, Germany under the production guidance of Alex Krull, emerged in April. A single, 'Cold Black Days', preceded it. The group would be engaged in a search for a new drummer in early October when Martin Schmidt announced his intention to leave. Extensive tour dates saw ATROCITY hooking up with LEAVES' EYES, BATTLELORE and ELIS for October gigs throughout Europe and Scandiniavia, upfront of a further mainland trek in November allied once again with LEAVES' EYES, BATTLELORE and Norwegians SIRENIA.

As 2005 opened ATROCITY announced they had acquired the services of drummer Moritz Neuner. Heavily in demand on the underground Metal scene, Neuner prior credits included acts such as ST. LUCIFER, SHADOWCAST, DARKWELL, GRAVEWORM, ABIGOR, EVENFALL, DORNENREICH, SIEGFRIED, ANGRY ANGELS, NECROLOGY and KOROVA. During October ATROCITY joined the US road partnership dubbed the 'International Extreme Music Festival' in collaboration with BYZANTINE, NIGHTRAGE, EPOCH OF UNLIGHT, HELL WITHIN, LEAVES' EYES and LILITU.

Aiming to repeat their previous successful 1997 experiment, throughout 2006 the band worked on new recordings for 'Werk 80 II'. Moritz Neuner sessioned on Spanish act DARK EMBRACE's 'The Rebirth Of Darkness' album in November.

In October ATROCITY enrolled Los Angeles-based drummer Chris "Seven" Antonopoulos, from REVOLTING COCKS and OPIATE FOR THE MASSES

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