Review Summary: Sloppily made and produced, and with little creative or interesting content.
Flammentod, where should one begin" The band has released numerous demos and splits, and two full lengths, this album being the second of the two. I have several of the demos and can't say much in favor of them, though I did enjoy their material on the Gemeinschaftstontraeger quite a bit (a very good release in general). I had hopes that perhaps this full length would be a little less "demo-like" in approach, with less sporadic and out of time drumming and the typical harsh production quality.
Well these problems still reoccur on this album. There is no doubt that production on a black metal release should not be crystal clear, but some of the guitar lines are painful to listen to hear, they sound broad misty and thin sometimes, and at other moments sound as though an amp is being pushed to its limit and is having the last drops of life squeezed out of it. Not a pleasant sound, but this isn't a pleasant style of music one could say. The guitars are therefor acceptable because I can't say much bad about what's actually being played, they sometimes have an eastern european influence in them, somewhat similar to Dub Buk or even Trollech at time. This is a nice variation from the typical riffing of a black metal band (though there are still a good amount of uninspired riffs here) even if the occasional riff sounds like it has a note that clearly sounds as if it should be a half step higher or lower, The production on the drumming is acceptable if one is used to black metal, [if not you probably shouldn't even bother with this release]. The vocals are distorted with heavy reverb so that you have that little repeated echo effect (which when added to the echo being panned is a bit annoying).
The drumming itself is pretty terrible. There are many extremely awkward fills that don't help riffs transition at all and instead make the song stagger and lose its flow. The drum patterns are all very similar with the occasional odd beat accented for good measure and double kick thrown in at the more fast paced riffs. The entire album feels as though it was rather amateurishly made in the sense that the guitars are made well but badly produced, and the drums are produced decently but not performed well. I think maybe if Flammentod had taken a bit more time to simply work on the final product we could have gotten a bit better album (whether or not he wants this album to even sound anything close to clean is up for debate).
Songs are short and basic and remind of punk more than metal in structure. There are a couple of short songs that have a theme and develop it such as the intro, and these add a nice amount of variety into the songs. The shortness of the songs also works well as the riffs that are played never really become boring because of over repition (a common black metal problem). Lyrics range from warfare to nationalism to a few nature themes, though i garauntee you wouldn't understand anything. Even a fluent german speaker (such as myself) would be unable to understand a word unless they were very intent on what was being said. One song also features keyboards and I commend the band on this welcome change of pace, and must say that the song is not at all badly made, very simple but everything is distinct enough to hear out. Perhaps with better production one would also be better able to make out some of the nuances that I am sure are in the guitar work/
If you're not into black metal, specifically bands like Heidenreich, Nordreich, Bilskirnir, Aryan Blood, and other pagan or ns-leaning bands in the german scene, I'd advise you to pass on this album. If you're turned off by the NS tag, I can assure you that NS themes don't come through at all as the lyrics are not decipherable at all. I would recommend you start out with one of the split albums this band is featured on, and if you like what you hear there give this a shot. In all other cases I'd imagine that you won't be too amazed by this.