Werk 80 II

Written by: PP on 22/03/2008 02:08:54

The best cover records are always those were the original songs have been re-written, re-arranged or remixed to sound like they were written by the covering band instead. Covers which are done note by note are seldom interesting and often end up raping the original song instead of celebrating it. German metallers Atrocity belong to the prior group of bands, as they already demonstrated on their 1997 record \"Werk 80\", which transformed 80s pop/synth pop mega hits into the band\'s own gloomy, gothic metal signature sound. Just over a decade later, the band\'s back with the sequel to that record, \"Werk 80 II\", which once again attacks the chart topping mega hits of the 80s, only this time in a much more creative and ambitious way than ever before.

Backed with a full symphonic orchestra, the band takes classics from the 80s like Depeche Mode\'s \"People Are People\" and transforms them into a fantastic combination of symphonic and gothic metal, while still keeping the original structures intact. Did you ever imagine hearing A-Ha\'s \"The Sun Always Shines on TV\" with violins, extra percussion, and heavily distorted riffs? The band has pushed their creativity to its limits, and every song is more of a celebration of the original than a direct cover.

The manner in which the band is able to take familiar melodies and make them sound immensely dark and metallic is astounding especially when combined with the occasional operatic vocals from Leaves Eyes\' Liv Kristine on the background. The old songs suddenly enter new dimensions you never thought possible. The approach is so well thought out and precisely executed that one cannot do anything but applaud the band for writing a record as ambitious as this. Take the Frankie Goes To Hollywood cover \"Relax\", for instance. The verse vocals are deeply growled as if they were from a black metal song, the added symphonic elements dominate the sound, and the riffs are crushingly heavy for a song that was originally a pop song. But yet the original melody remains and you\'ll easily be singing along \"relax, don\'t do it, when you want to go to it\".

For everyone doing covers, Atrocity remains exemplary. The way in which original songs are made to sound like they were written by a metal band for a metal audience is something that demands to be heard by everyone, but especially those who hold 80s mega hits as their guilty pleasure. The guarantee is that you\'ll never hear them in a more symphonic, more gothic form as here. If every track on the record was equally famous, this record would score immensely higher than it does; the problem is that although every track charted in the 80s, about half of them remain unknown to a listener that wasn\'t around during the golden times of the 80s.

Download: Relax, The Sun Always Shines On TV
For the fans of: 80s synth pop
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date 03.03.2008
Napalm Records

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