ATROCITY After the Storm

15 years back from now Alex & co. have done few songs with Yasmin. Those of you who are older surely remember the video for track ‘’Calling the Rain’’. Probably this was the first song from Atrocity that I ever heard. Now, Atrocity once again made one full-length with Yasmin after so many years. It’s not a metal album, as one can guess, it’s more folk-based with some kind of southern feeling if you will. There’s surly nostalgia speaking through the tunes.

Hello! How are you doing? Are you satisfied by the first reaction of journalists for Atrocity’s newest record feat. Yasmin “After the Storm”?
Alex: First of all, from our fans we get very good responses, the album was just released! Many people were waiting a very long time to get a new album together with Yasmin! We are getting very positive and great reviews which is very nice. Most of the journalists like that we do something special again! You can recognize very well who is taking time to listen carefully to this new album which has a lot of details within the music and who is not. So some people just don’t take the time anymore. And it seems some people don’t really want to understand what we are doing, but so what? It’s sometimes a shame when people are too ignorant to accept other influences this should not be the case in a genre like the metal scene.

atrocity-434160Although that in the time of the releasing of it I was still very young I still remember your record and old video-clip ”Calling the Rain”. 15 years have passed from this record so how and why did you chose to done one more full-length with Yasmin? Alex: Well, it’s a timeless piece of music on which we combine ethno, world music and metal elements. Actually it all started when Yasmin was already singing on our 3rd record “Blut” back in 1994! A long time ago, like you mentioned haha. She was doing guest vocals on two songs, “Calling The Rain” and “Land beyond the forest”. That time it was completely unusual to use a female guest singer at all as a brutal Metal band. The fans and we as the band loved the cooperation that much so we decided to release the “Calling The Rain” CD in 1995 with more songs with my sister Yasmin, who is a really great artist and singer. Around 2000 we made another track called “Desert Land” for a famous compilation here in Germany. And we decided to do a full album again in the future without any time pressure. After the WERK 80 II we decided the next album will be with Yasmin. So here we go.

”After the Strom” is a really interesting piece of work. While the other bands chose more to focus on exploring so called northern folk music and mythology you decided to focus on something that could be named as southern folk music. Do you agree with me?
Tosso: Southern folk music sounds like songs from New Orleans. The idea behind After the storm was to combine metal and ethno sounds and turn them into something new..you could call it Ethno metal. For the world music part you can hear a lot of Moorish, Arabic, south American and even African influences. To achieve such a kind of sound we used special string instruments, flutes and percussion, which gives the album such an exotic feel. So in a way you are right. Most of the world music influences on this album are rooting in the south.

Yasmin’s voice is really beautiful. So, the question is how did you actually find her back more then 15 years back? Was it hard to record that first full-length with her? Also, was it now easier to compose and record the latest effort with her entitled ”After the Strom”?
Tosso: One of the first songs I wrote in early 2008 was “Transilvania”, a song that can be seen in the tradition of the Calling the rain album. During the writing process we moved some steps beyond “calling the rain”, until songs with a very unique vibe like “Otherworld” or “Goddess of fortune and sorrow” came to life. In my opinion these songs display something very unheard. The recording this time was more intense, since almost all sounds on this album were handmade. To work with Yasmin again was something we had in mind for many years and we have always been in contact with her, although she is living in New Zealand. It was not hard to convince her and ourselves to do this record. Everybody had a lot of fun, because the central point with the whole album is passion, dedication and fun to write and play this kind of music.

Where did you record and produce ”After the Strom”? Who was the producer?
Alex: It was produced by myself at Mastersound Studio. We use alot of natural instruments to create a very atmospheric sound with tons of complimentary rhythms. We recorded everything live, every little detail. The recordings have been a big challenge but also great fun! The whole record sounds organic, real and authentic which is very important for us!

”After the Strom” is going to be released at the 1st September so how would you, from your point of view review/describe this upcoming issue of Atrocity?
Tosso: I think the new album is maybe our most colourful and musically richest weve done so far. Very often I feel reminded of the time when I joined the band in 1994 and the BLUT album was released. This album also had a huge musical covering and featured for the first time Yasmins voice in Atrocity.

Since these song which were recorded with Yasmin are acoustic ones are you going to preform them live sometime or even more do you plan maybe to organize one or few acoustic show promoting this particular release?
Alex: We actually would love to do something special if we would have the chance to perform this live with my sister. We already played special shows with Yasmin in the mid and late 90’s, a tour with Rage and Orchestra (1997) and before a concert only with seats which attended 1.400 people. That was awesome. Well, maybe we can do something like that again, or play on a castle or an old amphitheatre. Due to the distance to New Zealand it will be quite difficult to organize. But of course we would love to do that!

The previous issue of Atrocity was ”Werk 80 II” and now, once again you’re returning in the past and have once more explored some forgotten horizons. Is there some kind of nostalgia dwelling within you:)?
Tosso: No absolutely not. Both albums were done with the ambition to create something new instead of repeating ourselves. Werk 80 II was the first time we were working together with a full orchestra and choir which was pretty exciting. And After the storm comes along with this special mix of metal and ethno music, while Calling the rain was more of a pure ethno album. So, we are not living in the past but in the present.

The cover artwork for ”After the Strom” is perfectly suiting for the music of Atrocity in my humble opinion. So, what could you say about this cover? Who has done it?
Alex: I love the artwork! It was done by Stefan Heilemann, a very good artist who also worked for Epica or Destruction. We made several shots in nature parks in South Germany. The band pictures f.ex. were taken in front of so called mammoth trees which you usually find in Northamerica and were imported to that forest a long time ago.

Since I haven’t got the chance to check out the lyrics please could you be so kind and comment them. The titles for some songs are indeed interesting one as: ”Goddess of Fortune and Sorrow”, “Silvan Spirit” or “Transilvania”…
Alex: Lyricwise each song tells its’ own story and has its’ own atmosphere. The red line is the background of the global mythology, these old legends and the secrets of our past. So we enter the world of mythology which fits perfectly to the combination of World & Ethno Music in combination with Metal! On “After the Storm” you find a lot of mystic legends. Like “The Otherworld”, when we bring an old Celtic legend back to life. “Silvan Spirit” is a hommage to the ancient mythical creature “Faun” who hides in the deepest forest. In a song like “As the sun kissed the sky” we tell one of the ancient Egypt legends and join the sun god Ra on his nightly trip to the underworld and back with his night bark Mesketet. “Goddess of fortune and Sorrow” is about the old ancient goddesses which brought love and pain at the same time, which actually you can find in several old cultures. “Transilvania” is the follow up song from “Land beyond the forest” and our homage to Yasmin’s and my ancestors which were coming from that part of Romania.

Do you already think about the upcoming tour dates? Are you going to have a proper huge tour now after the releasing ”After the Strom”? It will be indeed nice to see you somewhere around in Europe?
Alex: We actually would love to do something special if we would have the chance to perform this live with my sister. We already played special shows with Yasmin in the mid and late 90’s, a tour with Rage and Orchestra (1997) and before a concert only with seats which attended 1.400 people. That was awesome. Well, maybe we can do something like that again, or play on a castle or an old amphitheatre. Due to the distance to New Zealand it will be quite difficult to organize. But of course we would love to do that!

Aside of regular edition of ”After the Strom” there’s going to be one more digi-pack edition so please could you add few words about this deluxe edition? I have heard somewhere that it is going to be strictly limited.
Alex: The deluxe edition of “After the Storm” includes also the remastered “Calling the rain” album plus the very rare bonus track “Desert Land”!

I would like just to thank you for your answers and opportunity to have an interview with you. I wish you all the best. Please add the final message to close this interview.
Tosso: Thanx a lot to all our fans. Check out our new record, it’s a piece of work with dedication. Thank you for this interview. Alex: Thanks a lot and we hope that you enjoy the music we do!

  • Answers by Alex and Tosso
    Interview was done by Marko Miranović
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