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Krieg's side of this split has some unique elements of USBM.
The production is pretty solid for a black metal album. You can hear all the instruments very clearly, and I don't have any complaints from the production side of the split. The vocals are probably the highlight of the album. They range from very high pitched to a deep growl like the very best black metal vocalists can do. The drums are good but don't stand out much. The guitar is certainly audible and fits in well with the music, although nothing special to note there. The songwriting is also very unique, with transitions between hard and fast black metal and some melodic interludes like in the first piece, Knights of the Holocaust. Several songs begin with a spoken dialogue, like from a movie. I'm not sure what it is supposed to be, but it adds a good atmosphere to the split.
My favorite song is Slit their Throats to the Spine, which combines some neat drumwork and guitarwork along with a really good vocal scream at about 3:00 in.
I think the Krieg side of the split is much better than the Kult ov Azazel side, but that's just me. I wasn't much of a fan of the KoA work as much as Krieg. Overall a good work of black metal, and I would recommend it to anyone who appreciates USBM.
This sounds extremely cool, it is appealing if you like battering metal with a sociopathic and misanthropic feel that wishes to express sonical hatred. To me it sounds like a grinding blast beat oriented band that plays black metal within a death metal format and it fucking rules. This music is like the sum of various metal influences and techniques.
The drums range from the grindcore blasting chaos to a more percussive death metal style that reminds me of Suffocation or Cryptopsy but then it goes full on typical black metal blast beat mayhem and it is in this frame of raging speed that you can feel the antisocial fury they were aiming for, ripping aggressive grinding black metal. Another cool thing is the constant rumbling bassy vibe of these four songs when the music slows down the shrieks turn to low growls and the texture of guitars and vocals just feels good.
Vocals are constant shrieks of agony that despite they are high pitch the production is so bassy that they like blend to the overall percussive chaos.
The voice alternate from low growls that sound pretty cool to constant painful shrieks that form another wall of sound blent to the fast ripping drums. If you listen carefully despite guitars are heavily distorted to that of a grindcore sound, you can hear nice melodic lines that carry a brief deal of emotion in the black metal sense. They make grinding riffs with embedded melody that sound viciously misanthropic but are very enjoyable even if all songs sound like crossover metal but I guess that is exactly what modern American black metal is, a combination of various styles and ideas.
Rhythm is for the most part a driving of virulence, the tempo is ultra fast and when occasionally slow down to break the song they immediately lash out again with violence but for some parts it is still headbangable. Musically these guys make a sincere statement of anti humanity, hatred and despise for all that society represents, lyrically they celebrate all that is evil under a religious scope, like most metal. If you like Blasphemy and Sarcofago, this will fucking own you.
This is a pretty good split album, although you can find the Kult ov Azazel tracks on their debut album Triumph of Fire. The Krieg half is exceptional for them.
They were supposed to be on a second full length album, Sono II Schemo, but for reasons unknown to me, that album was never released and these, and the rest of the tracks, never made it onto anything, until now. Although there are only like 4 new tracks:
Knights of the Holocaust
Power of Darkness
Slit Their Throats To the Spine
Then there is Coldwind Flame and Shadows of the Fallen Kingdom, which both can be found on the Black Plague demo recordings. They are alright, but nothing that I'd listen to all the time. Coldwind Flame is also on Destruction Ritual, but Imperial himself has said that he hates that song, so take his word for it.
The four tracks, which I mentioned above, are very good for Krieg standards, meaning that they don't sound like just noise, but have a distinct atmosphere to them. The guitars are actually audible and the vocals aren't pushed out way to the front like on other recordings. The production is pretty good too, but obviously not the best.
Essentially if you like Krieg a lot, then pick this up if not for just the unreleased tracks. Destruction Ritual is pretty good, but I am just not the biggest Krieg fan in the world.