Review Summary: And we watched our work, a picture of horror ... Then came silence..
Right from the start, Taste Our German Steel
lets its intentions be known. No innovation will be found here, only pure, icy black metal evoking the feeling of albums such as Pure Holocaust
and Under A Funeral Moon
. While this album was released in the year 2000, it would seem more in place during the mid-90s kvlt scene. The instrumentation, production, and strict limitation of 100 copies (originally) all lend to it’s authentic underground feel.
All instruments on Taste Our German Steel
are handled by Occulta Mors. Being that this is essentially a one man band besides vocals, the guitars are surprisingly well done. There were no stumbles or errors to be heard throughout the entirety of the album. In fact, there are even sections with added embellishment like a short finger tapped section at the beginning of “Apocalyptic Vision”, which is an unusual technique for black metal. There is very little variation within each song, as each track only has around three distinct riffs each. However, this doesn’t mean that the songs are boring as the riffs themselves are incredibly well done and can be listened to for quite a while before getting boring, especially when coupled with the vocals. With guitars as good as these, it’s clear to see how Moonblood became a cult classic.
As for vocalist and lyricist Gaamalzagoth, his contributions to Taste Our German Steel
are masterfully accomplished. Gaamalzagoth’s style could be accurately described as a croaked screech. There is almost no variation for the vocals, but they pair excellently with the rest of the album. The vocals are closer to mid-range compared to many black metal band’s higher pitched vocals, and it helps the album stand out from the crowd in an oversaturated market. Lyrically, this album is reminiscent of bands like Satanic Warmaster, including themes of werewolves, satan, and war. An interesting quirk the lyrics have is that four of the songs have lyrics along the lines of “Frozen winds”, possibly as a reference to the album Pure Holocaust
Consisting almost entirely of blast beats or what I would describe as galloping drumming, the drums are as you would expect from black metal. However, the “galloping” drumming adds a bit of flair to the drums to keep them interesting enough throughout the album. This keeps the drums from becoming stale or overly repetitive. This is a more raw style of black metal, so drums with little variety are to be expected.
Production-wise, this album leaves a lot to be desired. Being that this is black metal, poor production is something often expected and even enjoyed, but Taste our German Steel
has two problems. The more severe problem is that the vocals are permanently mixed to the left of the recording. If you can’t stand poor stereo composition, don’t listen to this. The vocals, while quality, never move from the left side. This decision makes the vocals far less enjoyable than if they were centred and detracts from the album as a result. The other problem is that if there is any bass guitar in this album, it is impossible to hear. While only a minor complaint, it still detracts from the album. The guitars have a hazy sound, yet still have enough clarity so that the notes being played don’t blur together. They stick mostly to the higher frequencies, making this album straining to listen to for extended periods of time. The bass drum and snare are nearly indecipherable from each other as the bass drum is almost buried in the mix and already has a tone close to the snare.
Taste Our German Steel
comes close to being an album I could recommend to any black metal fan, but due to its production choices, I have to recommend it with a small warning. Even if you’re unsure if the vocals will be palatable or not, the album is still worth a listen. The excellent riffs and unique vocals may still win you ever like they did me.