Review Summary: Methodical and unique peace of black metal
Methodical and unorthodox, the prophet spoke.
He talked about a future age when humanity will be judged by the culmination of ignorance that is the essence of it’s existence. His conviction drives him to lead the sermon voiced in neither pure scream or growl, but a balance in between. Allowing him to stress each syllable, even resorting to the ancient art resembling Tibetan throat singing. The strong foreign accent he doesn't try to hide is apparent. And why should he? His diction is impeccable. He speaks of the unavoidable, never questioning, always preaching, demanding - not avoidance of the fall, but it’s recognition:
For every shattered dream, for every broken hope, there is no ease but there is conviction.
Row for judgement. Row for the fall.
He continues, defining and recognizing the enemy of man, responsible for the fall.
Percussion backing him, making the message he is conveying more prominent closely follows tone and tempo he is chanting in. Drums back off deintensifying when he is silent and engage in the same rhythm words leave him, or use a certain contrast exploding violently, introducing ideas behind lyrics even when they are not spoken. Mid tempo double kicks seems heavier and stronger than faster counterparts from other projects. They are used exactly when needed, never overused and never underdone.
Hypnotic, trance-like and dissonant, guitar riffs connect the speaker with the drums. Thus, an unbreakable synergy is born. Every cymbal hit, every guitar string stroke and vocal cord engaged compliments one another. It’s almost as if thoughts behind this work of art have an artificial origin in a world where ruling classes are more machine than man. Synths provide subtle texture at times, but are rarely called upon because the guitars are so thoughtfully layered.
Melodic because of strong rhythm and superbly executed use of repetition, though seemingly equally distant and abstract. Sounding technical without being complicated, very methodical, just like all instruments including the vocal.
Similarities with Mgla that falls under the same black metal tag are noticeable since Kriegsmachine shares two key members - M. at vocals+guitar and Darkside at drums. The third party Destroyer also contributes with vocals and is in charge of the base guitar.
Where Mgla succumbed to fuzzy, muddy production and is more riff oriented, Kriegsmachine sounds cleaner and is finely tuned. Fortunately not overproduced and sparkly. This would hurt the atmosphere and murder the overall bleakness. There is a sort of strong industrial aesthetic resonating. One can’t stop imagining servos of mechanical aberrations sewing (of tearing) the fabric of knitted soundscape.
Lyrical themes would be infantile, typical satanic anti christian cliches if they were not dressed in convincing and intelligent phases woven in mysticism.
There are 6 songs totaling in 46 minutes that average at 7 minutes, making weaker (especially the closing title track) ones overlong, leaving some variety to be desired. Second half of this albums seems less inspired, yet if follows the precedent brought up by the first half closely. Other than that, this is a superb and unique peace of underground music.