Atrocity, "Werk 80 II"
Essentially a sequel to 1997's 80s 're-imaging' album, Werk 80, Germany's Atrocity continues down the same road on Werk 80 II covering 80s hits, albeit in their own style utilizing dynamic male and female vocals, symphonic elements, and the crunch of heavy metal, from bands like A Ha, Simple Minds and Eurthymics among others. While it's a ghastly conception for well-seasoned metal veterans, one has to admit, Werk 80 II is an ambitious undertaking, especially on the more well known hits from the 80s, under the guise of Atrocity's style of music.
However, while lesser-known tracks like "Smalltown Boy" or Ideal's "Keine Heimat" may not be initially recognizable upon first listen, they do come over to Atrocity's style in efficient fashion, sounding nearly on par with the band's gothic, symphonic sound which was previously on show on upwards of eight (non-covers) full-length albums and a plethora of mini CDs over the band's long career.
"Fade To Grey" features female spoken passages alongside a more industrial sound than is par for the course, courtesy of buzzing guitars and backing orchestral key passages. And what would a European metal record be without a kitschy ballad? Rest assured, album-closer "Forever Young," is right up that alley as Atrocity offers up an anthem-inducing version of fellow Germans Alphaville's hit song.
Now, does the symphonic metal world need not one, but another 80s radio rock cover record from Atrocity...or anyone else for that matter? The band's bio would certainly make one feel that way, and maybe some do see it from that point. Ultimately, I will go out on a limb here and say the European metal crowd will understand and enjoy Werk 80 II far, far more than the average American metalhead (power metal nerds included)...and Deadtide faithful for that matter. Well, I'll give Werk 80 II's just praise - this could probably go in the 'win' column for the Leaves' Eyes and Nightwish fans Stateside that are living in mom's basement working on their bug collection.