1914
The Blind Leading the Blind


4.5
superb

Review

by PsychicChris USER (279 Reviews)
November 19th, 2018 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Obviously stylized yet horrifyingly real

There are tons of bands in the heavy metal world whose lyrics are all about warfare, but I’ve never heard a band execute it like 1914. As with 2015’s Eschatology of War, the Ukrainian group’s second full-length Blind Leading the Blind is exclusively themed around World War I, with period-appropriate samples to match. It was even released on November 11th, 2018, the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the conflict. Such a move would suggest gimmickry or exploitation in lesser hands, but this group is dead serious, and the material benefits accordingly.

1914’s musical style is readily comparable to a band like Bolt Thrower, but they could hardly be called derivative. While their songwriting is anchored around grinding death metal riffs, tempos frequently fluctuate as various tracks explore doomy breakdowns and give way of blasting black metal swells. Through it all, the drums stay tight, the guitar tone is meaty and monstrously low, and the death grunts are disturbingly legible. Even the take on The Exploted’s “Beat the Bastards” manages to fit right in.

Much can also be made of the samples that run throughout the album. They cover a broad emotional spectrum whether they be the crackly patriotic songs that bookend the album, ambient sound effects, or the dialogue pieces that most often serve as song intros. Some of them may run a little too long, but they’re never awkwardly wedged in and perfectly establish the atmosphere. It’d be quite cheap if it wasn’t so damned effective…

But what really separates this album from the other war-boys is the sheer pathos behind it, especially by death metal standards. The articulate vocals and unsettling samples may serve as an aesthetic gateway but combining these elements is what truly makes something special. There is something distinctly haunting about moments like the violin rising from the slaughter on “Passchenhell” or the lamenting soldier’s monologue giving way to brutal tremolos on “The Hundred Days Offensive.” Much like the opening of Saving Private Ryan, it’s obviously stylized yet horrifyingly real.

Overall, Blind Leading the Blind doesn’t differ too much from its predecessor, but it may do an even better job of highlighting 1914’s distinct style. While the wide genre pool can make it more accessible than most death metal out there, the emotional intensity and overwhelming period adherence can make it just as challenging to listen to. Whether you’re a seasoned extreme metal fan or a 20th-century history buff, this album is essential listening.

Highlights:
“A7V Mephisto”
“High Wood. 75 Acres of Hell”
“Passchenhell”
“Stoßtrupp”
“The Hundred Days Offensive”

Originally published at http://indymetalvault.com



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user ratings (65)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
November 19th 2018


24971 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review! I've been seeing this album floating around a lot recently which is cool, it's quite good.

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Hawks
November 19th 2018


68364 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Guess I gotta hear this.

Digging: Akasha - Canticles of the Sepulchral Deity

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
November 19th 2018


8236 Comments


Remember digging the previous album a lot (spinning it right now), this one sounded a bit over-produced, but that judgement is from a couple of listens only.

BallsToTheWall
November 20th 2018


49496 Comments


Sounds good.

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Archelirion
November 20th 2018


5650 Comments


Eschatology of War was a surprisingly good listen, so if I feel like getting on some metal in these coming weeks I'll have to make some time for this. Nice write up man :]

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
November 20th 2018


15100 Comments


This sounds interesting, gotta czech.

Digging: Deafkids - Metaprogramao

Beardog
November 21st 2018


2730 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Production reminds me of Wolfheart. This sounds interesting

Hawks
November 21st 2018


68364 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sweet alb.

Beardog
November 22nd 2018


2730 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This record is really good but some of the Slipknot vibes aren't really my taste. Great instrumentation all around though and it's really varied. The world war samples also actually add to the music without feeling cringy so that's great. The last track is awesome

Pho3nix
November 22nd 2018


595 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you for the review!



https://www.echoesanddust.com/2018/01/1914-metal-and-the-horror-of-war-from-ukraine/



Seems like a cool band and have been looking to find some WW1 inspired music to listen to for ages, I'll be checking out their debut first though

Zoomoo318
November 22nd 2018


28 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

back half lost me a tad but the first half is incredible

Pho3nix
November 28th 2018


595 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah this is fucking great.



I absolutely love the interludes and general atmosphere the music conveys, really happy I found this band!

MotokoKusanagi
January 23rd 2019


1741 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"This record is really good but some of the Slipknot vibes aren't really my taste"



wait what?

alamo
February 20th 2019


1113 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is a bit basic but at the same time pretty enjoyable

MotokoKusanagi
February 21st 2019


1741 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah it's a fun album nothing essential (and that's ok)

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2019


10522 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not giga into all the production choices and it's overall tiring nature, but really good stuff for the most part.



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