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"Black Metal ist Krieg" is probably Nargaroth's most controversial album. It has the reputation of being uninspired and a blatant rip off of many black metal bands that came before Ash and his dark hymns of destruction. Hell, look at the album artwork (which makes a pretty cool shirt, by the way)! It looks like one of the promo photos Varg Vikernes released during the early 1990s. When you take the second part to the album's title into consideration, however, "A Dedication Monument" really makes a lot of sense. That's pretty much what this album is and it seems to serve as Ash's take one what black metal should sound like while being a tribute to those influences he holds to the music. This album consists of 4 covers and 7 original Nargaroth tracks.
After the introduction, the title track rips in like a dagger to the face. This is one of the more controversial aspects to the album, as the song is really damn repetitive and only has two segments to it, really. The first one is the same riff over and over again with the lyrics repeating themselves over and over and over. Repetition is synonymous with black metal but when a fast riff is repeated one too many times, it can get old quickly. This unfortunately is such a case. The riffs starts off pretty cool but as the title of this review may imply, at first it sounds killer, but then it's just filler. An interesting aspect of this track is when the first riff ends and the second one begins. This riff seems to be the exact same riff the Norwegian band Strid used on their legendary track "End of Life". I'm not sure how many others notice this but it's extremely obvious and definitely does the album title justice, although some may see this as being a total rip off. Regardless, this is a cool riff and sounds good, although doesn't really capture the atmosphere from Strid's original version. Filler seems to really plague this album, though. The cover of "I Burn for You" originally by Lord Foul is only slightly better than the horrid original version and while the cover of Moonblood's "The Gates of Eternity" is probably the strongest of the 4 covers, I often ask myself: was it really necessary? And the controversial track "The Day Burzum Killed Mayhem", which obviously is about when Varg Vikernes murdered Euronymous, seems to just be too damn long and drags on too much.
So yes there is a lot of filler, but not all of it is such. Another controversial track seems to be "Seven Tears are Flowing to the River". This song is nearly 15 minutes in length and seems to follow the pattern of a typical depressive suicidal black metal (DSBM) song. It has repetitive riffs, a beautiful, melancholic clean guitar intro, and an overall bleak and sad atmosphere. This song is absolutely gorgeous. It does only contain a few riffs in that long runtime but like most DSBM it is effective in working the repetition to sound almost hypnotic and trancelike. I can definitely say this is the best track on the album. "Amarok - Zorn des Lammes III" (ah, yes...another "Amarok" track) is somewhat similar in composition but doesn't quite capture the same atmosphere. This song is still great and is probably second to "Seven Tears...".
So mostly this album serves as a testament to Ash's influences in the black metal genre with his own take on the music. He borrows musical ideas from other bands, covers tracks, and manages to make some really cool tunes here despite the filler. It's not his finest work but it's still decent and I'd recommend it to any fan of straight forward black metal.
This is pretty much black metal for beginners. There's nothing here remotely passionate, blackened, or offensive. Let's face it, folks, this is about as evil as the teenager next door who blasts dubstep at full volume; BMiK is more annoying than evil. Why is this so? Motive speaks volumes here. Why did Kanwulf make this? Did he make it to make, in the words of comedian George Carlin, external evidence of an internal state? Or did he make it to look cool and impress everyone with his "kvltness"? Truth be told, I'm convinced it's the latter. There's no reason that anything should be as derivative and unoriginal as this, even if it's a so-called "dedication monument".
Part of the problem is that there's really not a whole lot of material here. Yes, this album is around 70 minutes long. But how does Kanwulf use those 70 minutes? Rather poorly, I must say. We can divide these songs into 3 categories: covers, "thrashers" (I use that word rather loosely), and "epics" (again, very loose definition). The covers are for the most part very forgettable. I've heard the originals, and Kanwulf does not do these any justice. When I first heard the cover, I thought that the songs were just bad. They're not bad, it's just that Kanwulf has found a way to remove all the emotion and feeling behind every song. The guitars are phoned in, and the vocals are terrible. That bears repeating: Kanwulf is a horrible vocalist. He sounds like he's trying to imitate Abbath of Immortal and failing entirely.
The original songs are not all that great either. The Day Burzum Killed Mayhem is good enough, and is one of the reasons this album didn't get a 0% rating from me. The rest are so-so; Burzum is an obvious influence for Nargaroth, (the name itself seems like a ripoff of Gorgoroth, which is an actual mythological place; fuck if I know what Nargaroth means), but the difference between Nargaroth and Burzum is that Burzum has just the ILLUSION of simplicity; there are really subtle changes going on, so that the repetition is just an illusion. Kanwulf, on the other hand, when he wants to be "epic", just repeats the riffs over and over and over again. Even if they're a good riff, there's no escaping that in the 14 minute Seven Tears Are Flowing To The River, there are only 3 riffs in the song, 4 at the TOPS. Amarok -- Zorn Des Lammes III is no different.
When it comes to the faster/thrashier songs, again, Kanwulf fails. When you can ignore the childish lyrics, the riffs are your basic meat and potatoes black metal, but somehow they manage to bore me to tears. To this day, I cannot listen to the song Black Metal Ist Krieg. It's a boring riff repeated ad infinitum, with another boring riff or two thrown into the mix. Again, the problem is that Kanwulf is not a good riffwriter, or rather, he does not know how to write the kind of riffs I wouldn't mind hearing over and over again. Kanwulf still insists on endless repetition, which pretty much gives BMiK a bloated, skip-worthy feeling.
I used to like this, but its novelty wore off quicker than a crack high. Any self-respecting black metal fan or anyone interested in black metal should pass this. There's nothing to hear on this album that you can't find at least a hundred bands doing better. As sort of a post script, there's a lot of "personal" dirt on Kanwulf. Not only is he an amateur hack, he also is a spineless dick, and a liar to boot. That's not the point of this review, so I won't elaborate further, but it does shed some light on the mentality behind this album, which to me resembles thievery rather than tribute.
"Black Metal Ist Krieg" is what one would call a complex album. So many questions are still being asked about Kanwulf's choices, "What the hell were you thinking covering four songs from four incredible black metal bands and then putting them all in one album?". The question seems easy enough to answer. Judging by the song titles and the lyrics written by Kanwulf the man definitely wanted to make an album for his "role models", I suppose Black Metal Ist Krieg is an album of gratitude. A "thank you Darkthrone, Immortal, Burzum, Mayhem for making great black metal and inspiring me to do the same" album. The intro of the album sets off as a melody, shrieks are heard hereafter. Perhaps something a Gorgoroth fan would not particularly like, grown accustomed to fast playing black metal at the word go.
The song Black Metal Ist Krieg is disliked by many, why you might ask? It's repetitive. Not only instrument-wise but lyrically as well, the same can be said for the 14 minute song "Seven Tears Are Flowing To The River". We then hear the first cover on the album, I Burn For You originally by Lord Foul which begins with a person raging about being deformed, a simple cover which does not appeal to me. Pisen Pro Satana, a brilliant Root cover starts off with those sound effects you're surely to hear in one of Ed Veter's videos on Youtube. The melody in this song is perfect, Kanwulf's vocals are on par prior to the song being perceived as of the left hand path.
Sure, Nargaroth is a brilliant band though I fear as with many that this is a band that may fade out overtime. Kanwulf brings forth nothing new to the table, his vocals are admirable, sounding very raw and throaty and the instruments, well let's just say they are played in such a way that we have all heard them play.
I wonder if Kanwulf is prepared to write a song about every black metal artist who is or has deceased. He wrote a song for Euronymous, mostly discussing or sharing his views rather, about Black Metal being torn apart because Varg of Burzum murdered Euronymous. "The Day Burzum Killed Mayhem" the title of the song is very fitting with the news report being heard in the first few minutes of the song. It has a very melancholic atmosphere though it is also very aggressive. One wonders if Kanwulf puts all the blame on Varg. Another dedication song is "Erik, May You Rape The Angels" dedicated to Erik Brodreskift who used to be a drummer for different Black Metal bands who, like Per Yngve Ohlin. committed suicide. The drumming is incredible on this song.
"Possessed By Black Fucking Metal" is very interesting. I think Kanwulf tries to put across the point that Black Metal will never die hence why he is possessed by it even though in "The Day Burzum Killed Mayhem" he says he thinks Black Metal has been torn apart. This song could be if not "Black Metal Ist Krieg" an anthem for many people, the lyrics "My soul is possessed by black fucking metal" is something you could engrave on your skin to remind yourself that Black Metal is forever.
The thing that can be appreciated for this album is; Kanwulf tries to tell the listener how important Black Metal is to him by setting different emotions throughout the album which is great. What may be disliked on this album is that it is quite long, longer than a Dodsferd's album I think but besides that, Black Metal Ist Krieg (A Dedication Monument) is a recommended album.
Black metal has seen its fair share of sudden evolutionary leaps since its inception, ranging from captivating to downright cryptic depending on the particular variation of the beast in question. However, the infamous sophomore studio effort of Nargaroth may be among the strangest around, though not in any groundbreaking stylistic sense. The audacity of the title “Black Metal Ist Krieg (A Dedication Monument)” has been interpreted by some as sheer pretention gone way too far (the rampant egoism in the style makes this reaction a bit perplexing), but in truth it is more of a testimony of the true nature of this album. This is basically a period album, though one that doesn’t reach back nearly as far as what the term “period music” might suggest in the proper sense, and in some respects a sort of musical black metal historicism where the orthodoxy of Deathspell Omega seems innovative by comparison.
To put it bluntly, there is practically nothing that separates this album from a large number of popular Nordic 2nd wave albums that were committed to the recorded medium 7 or 8 years prior. The word derivative is almost too massive of an understatement when compared with the early Gorgoroth and Darkthrone releases that it imitates, though since a retrospective is the expressed purpose of this album, that can and should be overlooked. What really is at issue here is whether or not Kanwulf and his session drummers are able to pull this style off well and keep it interesting despite the fact that this mode of black metal has already been done, and masterfully so by more than a dozen earlier bands. In this respect, they are mostly successful, though the final product is plagued with pacing and structural issues that actual make for a pretty flawed album in spite of the songs being individually pretty well put together.
The pacing of this album is horribly gummed up by a lot of needless sampling that functions as little more than filler. An occasional nod to violence along the lines of the “Reservoir Dogs” sample at the beginning of the cover of “I Burn For You” would serve any album well, just as it has for a number of death metal bands, but almost every song on here is loaded up with these overblown non-musical interjections, not to mention an overlong and painful pile of noise at the beginning that is simply dubbed “Introduction”, which sounds like it might be trying imitate what Euronymous’ screams might have sounded like as Varg was stabbing his vital organs in alphabetical order.
Nevertheless, the overall culmination of musical elements on here, separated out from all the ancillary parts, is largely rock solid. This is particularly so in the case of “Seven Tears Are Flowing To The River”, which sees a restful clean guitar drone pave the way to an electric variant that perfectly recaptures the snow filled darkness that made “Under A Funeral Moon” such a timeless wonder, though the quality of the guitar is a bit less frosty and the overall balance of things is a bit pristine in comparison to the low-fidelity crunch of Darkthrone’s Peaceville trilogy, which this song actually ends up borrowing elements of all 3, right down to Kanwulf vocally impersonating Nocturno Culto. “The Day Burzum Killed Mayhem” takes on a more chaotic approach reminiscent of Darkthrone’s more Hellhammer inspired later material, while “Amarok – Zorn Des Lammes III” superimposes a strong early Burzum and Gorgoroth feel on things, right down to the extremely tinny and cymbal heavy drum sound.
When getting right down to it, this comes off as a well pulled off fit of hero worship mixed with a tiny bit of a journalistic sensibility. And like with many journalistic endeavors in this day and age, this one is plagued by way too many tangents and unnecessary asides. Likewise, the problem is that this sort of album doesn’t really have much of an appeal to veterans of the black metal style as the stylistic imitations are way too obvious and the lyrics are painfully familiar territory. This is basically a beginner’s guide to the genre, and one that most newcomers should probably look for in a lower priced bin even if it’s their first album in the style. It’s sufficient and satisfies all the obligatory elements of a black metal album, and yet it comes off as a bit static and safe at times, even within the context of an intentional emulation of past achievements. Many have done worse, but many have also done better, including Nargaroth itself.
This album consists of 1 intro, 7 original tracks and 4 covers. With song titles such as "Black Metal Ist Krieg", "Possessed by Black Fucking Metal","The Day Burzum Killed Mayhem" and "Erik, may you rape the angles" (referring to a former member of Immortal who committed suicide), you can easily tell Kanwulf is being overzealous in expressing how much of black metal means to him. Judging by the album title, the concept behind the album is the black metal genre itself. You might find it hard to take such a project seriously and I understand. It is known that taking such an approach to making black metal leads nowhere but the grim and frostbitten wastelands of self parody and unintentional hilarity. This is, without a doubt, silliness, but once you train your mind to ignore the song titles and focus on the music, it sounds alright.
Now on to the more objective part of my review. I usually like to start off by describing the production/mix on the album, but in this case its hard to give a general idea of what it sounds like, as the sound varies on each song. There is your standard buzzing/hi-treble guitar sound, but the drum levels and its mix keep differing with each song. This gives me the impression that they were all recorded under different settings at different times, thus sounding like a "best of album" with tracks compiled from various releases. I'll just sum it up by saying that its underproduced in a good way, without sounding unlistenable.
Regarding the music, expect some dead simple arrangements built with a few riffs that loop several times. I'll admit, there are some good black metal style riffs on those songs, and surprisingly, don't wear out so quickly in spite of being repeated so many times. The drumwork consists of mostly blasting with a few mid paced drum patterns with rolls aplenty. Theres not much to say about the bass, except that it simply follows the guitar lines quietly in the background. Over all this, Kanwulf delivers some truly good shrieks, that falls in place with the rest of the music. I'll also go on to say that the vocals are definitely one of the strong points of this album, as Kanwulf proves that he can pull off a nasty shriek. Simply put, if you like your black metal simple, fast and with tons of blasting and complimenting double bass mid-tempo parts, then the black metal praising tracks I mentioned in the first paragraph are guarenteed to do it for you. The last track "Possessed by Black Fucking Metal" however, puts you through a more grooving, rock-ish section before you hear the blasting.
The covers on the album seem well played, I have not heard the originals, so I have nothing to compare them against. Anyway, I personally think the idea of having 4 covers on a full length is pointless. I'd rather hear more original material. I'd like to specially mention 2 tracks that seem to shine through, namely "Amarok III" and "Seven Tears are flowing to the river". Clocking in at an epic 24 minutes combined, these songs showcase exactly what Kanwulf is capable of doing. These songs are rather melodic and sad sounding. Though they get repetitive, the melody holds up throughout the entire song. While they are definitely fine moments on the CD, they feel completely out of place on an album that is, for the most part, mindless blasting around with Kanwulf going "aarraarrgh" about black metal and its kriegness. Kanwulf should have really released these two tracks seperately on an EP, as they would have been better appreciated and remembered if they were presented on their own platform.
To conclude, it feels like the dude wanted to make *the* black metal album using *the* black metal formula. Though I dont have a problem with it, I still feel he could have easily stayed true to black metal aesthetics while doing something that would have qualified this CD as "innovative". Nonetheless, I have been playing this album quite a lot of late and I have come to appreciate it. This album has its low points, but the good parts more than make up for its shortcomings. Though this is no classic, it still is an album worthy of being considered a good black metal album.
This is one of the toughest albums for me to grapple in a review. It gets a thumbs-up from me but a very shaky one at that. Yet, I wish I could rate this higher but in good conscious, I am reluctant. My feelings about this album are mixed to say the least as there are some excellent songs on Black Metal Ist Krieg like The Day Burzum Killed Mayhem and a couple others. And then there are some minuses like the drumming, over length and songs that run hot and cold etc, but I will hit on all of those points in a bit. First, I must say that this album is very interesting in its concept what with its pretentious by-line “A Dedication Monument” that reads like a medieval clause in a porous contract. In a way, it makes sense since this is not entirely original in content or sound but it is unique in its aim however hoity-toity.
Kanwulf has a fondness for “Introduction” tracks almost as much as he likes to insert various sound bytes from films. And in this particular case, his fondness for all things Burzum is also pretty obvious to the point of ridiculousness. The intro track is just screams that sound exactly like Varg’s in Feeble Screams from Forests Unknown and random sloshes on the drum. You can make out that he is screaming the title of the next song to lead into it. A nice touch if a bit predictable which leads me to the title track: Black Metal Ist Krieg. Oh boy, this song. Well, it’s certainly a grabber not to mention quite presumptuous. Fast as fuck, its raw intensity cannot be denied but be warned, while it has a great spirit as a brutal anthem, it is extremely repetitive and is a song that will probably wear out on you after a few listens. The intro notwithstanding, this album is bookended by this song and Possessed by Black Fucking Metal. Hence, the 'A Dedication Monument' proclamation that Nargaroth alludes to. This is also a song that begets one of my biggest gripes on the album: the drums. In my view, drumming can make or break a black metal album. This is where the record loses major points with me. It certainly sounds like typical black metal blast beats all around but the poundings are so uninspired and flat. Here on this song, it sounds like Butcher-who was on loan-is just going through the motions. And the short fills in the middle just don’t work at all. On a song like this, it’s hard to imagine much to be added in the way of drumming since it’s so straightforward but the hits just sound underwhelming. Maybe that’s more a fault with the song structure itself. Either way, the song just doesn’t always sound right as a result. Maybe I am just spoiled from Frost and Hellhammer’s skinning. This album sure could have used those guy’s talents too.
This recording contains four and a half covers. No, the half cover is not of a medley or anything but I’ll get to that also in a bit. I don’t like cover songs all that much. Unless, they can improve on a lesser known song, I think they should be relegated to bonus tracks or compilations and as such, I have no patience with them on original LP’s. And with that, more than one cover would certainly be pushing it for me. However, Kanwulf includes what I call “bring up” covers which means they are songs from obscure bands that I have never heard any music from. This is perfectly fine with me but I cannot judge them in comparison and therefore will only evaluate them as heard on Black Metal Ist Krieg.
Far Beyond the Stars is the first of these covers and is easily the least song on here. It sounds something like a slightly fast Xasthur song and that is not a good thing. Again, I have not heard the Azhubham Haani original but I can’t imagine it being any better to begin with. This song did absolutely nothing for me. The same goes for the Moonblood cover. This record could have used some trimming of fat and these two songs are it. Both of them are about five minutes in length which is ten minutes and some change of pacing that throws the rest of the album off. I Burn for You is a short Lord Foul cover that I liked and is pretty catchy. There’s a sound clip from the film Reservoir Dogs that is pretty silly but I know Kanwulf will put those kinds of things in his albums but in this case, it’s gratuitous. Pisen Pro Satana is a Root cover and it is the best one on the album. I really loved this song because Kanwulf’s vocals have an awesome creakiness. It sounds like a song inspired by old Gorgoroth combined with Beherit riffs. It’s a semi fast song that chugs right along nicely and does its thing and gets out. I wished there were a couple more songs like Pisen Pro Satana on here. The varying quality with all these covers indicates that Kanwulf took a lot of time in producing the album but I am one who always believes less can be more sometimes.
Nargaroth is a band I really like because Kanwulf can produce some great epic black metal. Seven Tears are Flowing to the River is another song in the great tradition of this. While it may seem out of place in this album, thankfully it is not because it’s a great song in the vein of Burzum which is Kanwulf’s biggest influence. As good as this song is though it is a bit longer than it should be. While long does and epic song make, I thought it was about to end with that final beat but instead kept going. I didn’t mind this so much because it’s a good song but when it did finally end it seemed anti-climactic. This is one of several songs, I might add, where the drumming is done right even if it is still a little flat. I also didn’t like its track order on the album. I thought it should have followed the Lord Foul cover instead of preceding it because since this is such a Burzum styled song it would have segued powerfully to the album’s best one called The Day Burzum Killed Mayhem for contextual value.
The latter song above mentioned is a pastiche in the truest sense and I loved it. The title is a little silly sure, but I find myself turning the volume up every time it comes on. Sound wise, it’s definitely a send up of Mayhem’s De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas with its thick, mid to fast paced riffs of atmospheric darkness reminding of Pagan Fears and Freezing Moon in particular with every clever detail right down to the Hellhammer like drumming. Though the best song on here, it could have been perfect if not for the loss of momentum at around a little over the four and half mark. It then slows down to pointless patterns of steady beats and completely blows its shtick. It picks up the tempo again but doesn’t recover from the drop. I wished Kanwulf would have just kept the DMDS flow from the first half for the rest of the song.
Amarok- Zorn Des Lammes III is one of the strangest attempts at a melodic black metal song that I have heard. I didn’t know what to make of it at first but I suppose it’s a decent track all and all. I would describe the opening minutes of the song as pretty grungy. There’s cleanly sung and serene verse upon the sounds of a storm over a lake before it picks up with the slow guitar pattern. The drum beats attacking into points of the slower half of the song sounds like a .50 caliber machine gun. I don’t know if that was the wisest place to put that there but it got my attention. There still isn’t quite the quality of drumming I was hoping to hear but better than most of the previous songs.
Speaking of black metal drummers, Erik “Grim” Brødeskrift is the subject of the next song that is called Erik, May You Rape the Angels. Although I more identify him as the drummer on the wonderful Gorgoroth album Under the Sign of Hell, Kanwulf pays tribute to him as Immortal’s one time percussionist since the main riffs from The Sun No Longer Rises are heard on the first part of the song. Yes, I agree that Erik Brødeskrift was probably Immortal’s best drummer. Although he toured the album, he did not play on Pure Holocaust that the song The Sun No Longer Rises features on (despite him being on the album cover) so I thought it was a bit of a stretch to use such a well known Immortal song for this tribute to him. Now, that’s not really a gripe so much as it makes me wish he was a long time drummer for that band because this is another very good song on Black Metal Ist Krieg. This track is also another good exception to the drums on here as well. They are done right and are on target.
I think I liked the title of the final track on this recording better than what the song actually sounds like. Possessed By Black Fucking Metal is maybe only slightly better than the title song. It sounds like an upbeat farewell to true black metal. Darkthrone does this type of thing now a lot better but I won't hold this band responsible for that. The production sound is pretty good on this album but it was a lot lower than some of Kanwulf’s other works.
Black Metal Ist Krieg is an admirable potpourri of pure hate and tradition for the title genre and the highlight songs are highly recommendable. The effort is yeoman but this record suffers from excess baggage with the putting of some of those needless covers on here makes it hard to compartmentalize as a black metal tribute album. This album is just a bit too long and heavy handed to fully achieve what Kanwulf set out to do. I will suggest you give it a chance for the few great songs on here. Others, beware!
Like all experienced metalheads coming from humble beginnings long ago, we all go through stages of development. We sometimes get our hands on a bit of everything at first – when we dive into learning more of a genre – before we begin to discern quality music from crappy imitations. Such was my experience and, ahem…mistake with listening to Nargaroth, another one of Germany’s mediocre black metal bands that have made my blooper collections wheel of embarrassment.
Lucky for me, I downloaded this album and didn’t buy it. (Who says that downloading is wrong when it can save you money and aggravation and protect you against bad purchases?) ‘Black Metal ist Krieg’ is one of main reasons why black metal in general is being destroyed by impostors and cheap imitators. The album is dripping from top to bottom, saturated with nothing but copycat riffs taken from Norwegian and Swedish bands and filled around the edges with outrageous and mediocre sound bites, and sound clips from movies no one cares to know or watch.
The opening intro begins with emo-screams by Kanwulf pretending to sound like Varg Vikernes if he joined screamo band Alexis On Fire. It then kicks immediately into the overly repetitive cyclic title track which tries too hard in production to sound like a cross between ‘Transylvania Hunger,’ Gorgoroth’s ‘Under the Sign of Hell’ and Maniac Butcher’s ‘Invaze.’ The song sounds interesting at first and then crashes to burn in less than a minute with the super repetitive loops, blastbeats, riffs and lyrics. Complete shit from the start with a very bad impression of what’s to come.
Another note worth mentioning right away is not only the lack of original, quality song material on this utter travesty of an LP, but also the over-abundant filler of not one, not two, not three, but FOUR cover songs by other bands – specifically chosen for ridiculous reasons according to the website of actual truth and facts: http://nargaroth.shaddai.name/en/
The ONLY decent cover song on this entire album is Lord Fouls’ “I Burn For You.”
Most songs on this album are too short yet very flat, or too long in an attempt to be “epic” most pathetically possible. And let’s not forget droning, annoying and antagonizing repetition of ultra-generic riffs looping in a non-stop tail chase. “Erik, May You Rape the Angels” is blatantly sweltering with riffs ripped off from Immortal’s “The Sun No Longer Rises.” Plus, I can’t understand why or what compelled Kanwulf to write a song in tribute to Erik “Grim” Brødeskrift anyway, when he most likely didn’t even know him?
To top off all the imbecilic senility the makes Ronald Möbus’ guts churn with discomfort listening to this black plastic piece of rotting sauerkraut shit, the final song is titled “Possessed By Black Fucking Metal.” Riiiiight….The title speaks for itself that it’s definitely worth ignoring before even listening.
If you thought Dimmu Borgir or Cradle of Filth were bad. Just listen to some guy who’s trying to act like he’s so self-proclaimed, self-righteously “kvlt,” “trve/tr00” and for the roots of black metal who originally was (and to a large degree probably still is) a bedwetting Goth.
To the fucking shredder with this album, or if you downloaded it, to your Windows Recycle Bin – deleted!
Note: I know I put 0% as my rating, but I honestly would rate this album -10% Yeah! It's THAT ATROCIOUS!
"Black Metal ist Krieg" works better as a parody or meme than it does an album, though all memes hold some value and all parodies are created out of something successful.
The album, in general, is not really that - it's more a collection of songs "dedicated" to the black metal scene which, depending on who you ask, is either starting up in its third wave or died in 1993, along with Euronymous. As an album it works rather poorly though as a collection of individual songs, Black Metal ist Krieg comes off pretty damn well.
Out of the eight songs on the album (there are nine tracks in total, though only eight songs - intros don't count), four of them are covers of solid black metal acts.
The music here is rather similar to previous material released by Nargaroth, and also shows a preview to the next Nargaroth album's sound, Geliebte Des Regens. Geliebte was my introduction to Nargaroth and has held its position as my favourite BM album as well as my most hated BM album over time. It really is a strange kind of music where the drums, I find, really let the whole album down, and the same is similar on Black Metal ist Krieg. They seem to be too simple and unchallenging at times, and one of the main reasons I like metal is the fact it is not simple music.
Production is what you'd expect - "grim" and lo-fi, though not to the extent of near unenjoyable, as is the case with a handful of Darkthrone albums. The vocals are among the worst in black metal; take that how you will: it depends on whether the more inaudible the screeches are the more you like it or hate it.
Yes, this is, for the most part, the same old stuff, which can either be an excellent thing or a real pain, though it's important to remember: this is a dedication monument, intended to be a tribute to the old black metal scene, and not new, original material. While that might be a slight oxymoron, seeing as half the tracks on this album are "new" tracks written by Kanwulf solely for this album, overall this album works quite well as a "historical" piece and also a collection of new songs dedicated to the olden days.
The tracks themselves, for the most part, seem to have the same distinct sound, which is a plus for the album. The covers are done rather well (the Root cover probably being my favourite track on the album) though the choices are questionable. Given time to think about it, I suppose Nargaroth wouldn't go down too well trying to cover something so different and keyboard-laden like Dimmu, though when it comes to guitar-bass-drum raw BM, I can't help but think there were better choices for the covers. Maybe I just don't like the covers all that much compared to other BM, or maybe it's the fact Kanwulf's wearing an Immortal shirt in the lyrics booklet. In summary: the covers, while done well and worthy of dedication, are not among the strong points of the album in terms of how they sound. The quality and worthiness of the originals are somewhat questionable, too.
Overall I do honestly find this album enjoyable, although due to its grim nature and rather terrible flow as an album, I use the incorrectly spelt title more as a meme than I listen to the album for my enjoyment. A worthy album with shortfalls that, while making a decent dedication monument, does not quite manage to produce a solid Nargaroth release.
Yes, armageddon is coming on earth...or better to say, it's the impression you have by listening this album. Well, that could be seen as well as positive as negative. In the case of Nargaroth it's definitively positive. This german band released here its masterpiece. This album is in my opinion the best of their already long career.
It's not as atmospheric as the following "Geliebte des Regens", it doesn't sound as pagan as their first album "Herbstleyd", not as raw as "Prosatanica shooting angels" and not as underground as the "Amarok" full-lenghth compilation, but what I particulary like in this album is the variety of the atmospheres and song writting. You will find elements of all their other releases in the different tracks of this cd.
The track "Black Metal ist Krieg" for example is pure, cold and what I call "True" Black Metal. Just for this title I'd already suggest you to buy this cd. It's directly in the vein of Darkthrone's "Transilvanian Hunger", that means easy but intense. Most of the other tracks are mostly in the same vein, but sometimes rawer and not as deep in abhorrence.
There are also atmospheric titles like "Seven tears are flowing to the river" that is a real masterpiece, the best track with "Black Metal ist Krieg" and "The day Burzum killed Mayhem". This song is slow and Nargaroth is playing 14 minutes long the two or three same riffs without being boring at all. You will be captivated and drown in a world of despair, sorrow and chill. The atmospheres are created through the guitar and that's excellent. So, 14 minutes of pure emotions at a very high level remembering Burzum's best moments. Don't worry, you will find such glacial atmospheric parts even in the rest of the album, except in the cover songs.
I guess this album could crowd all metal fans, granted that there are heavy and thrash elements. I really like the variation of fast melodies and slower heavy moments. In conclusion, this cd is an absolute masterpiece I recommend you to listen.
Blah, blah, blah. This is the epitome of average black metal. No band can be more mediocre than Nargaroth. This album sounds like every other black metal band out there. Each song is built of a simple drum pattern, maybe one or two riffs and then the same old black metal vocals. I'm not saying Nargaroth is horrible, its just that Nargaroth sounds like any other black metal band out. There isn't even any expirementation in this album, its just flat out black metal. There is emotion, but what black metal doesn't have emotion. Without emotion, its not black metal, so there is no reason why this should get any extra points for emotion. Plus, the emotional thing is like Nargaroth's diary and what he thinks about the world. Kind of like a real angsty teenager, the only emotions that do show up here are anger and depression. This album screams generic!
Its just to annoying how generic this is. Like any other black metal album, there are slow parts and then fast parts. Unlike other black metal bands Nargaroth doesn't use them properly. You can be listening to Kanwulf scream "BLACK METAL IST FUCKING KRIEG" 50 times and then getting into a mid paced song like Seven Tears Are Flowing... This album is just so inconsisent, well thats probably the only original thing in here! What also stood out was the production. This sounds like a best-of or something, because each song possesses a new atmosphere and feeling. You can be head banging to Black Metal Ist Krieg and then as you follow along you may question yourself and ask "what album am I listening to."
Any stubborn black metal fan may argue that this album is "true" and all that other non-sense, but just cut the crap. This album will make you go to sleep after repeating it maybe 3 times. Not only because its generic but its 1 hour. The music as a whole sounds deflated. Nothing better than an amateur garbage band could do. I just found the whole album really weird in a way too. The most repetive songs are the longest, and the songs that actually seem to keep you interested sound like there cut off.
Putting the insults behind, there are parts I actually did like. The song Black Metal Ist Krieg is actually alright, its pretty catchy for black metal standards. Also unlike any other black metal, Nargaroth seem to make there music like they just don't care how it comes out. Its straight-forward aggresive black metal. Also, I liked the lyrics. In my opinion, black metal bands have to have good lyrics or lyrics from there point of view of things. The lyrics for the song "The Day Burzum killed Mayhem" really touched on black metal as a genre and how it was struck from the news. I really thought that the song could make a great slow emotional song, but knowing Nargaroth they just had to make it aggresive. There are also four covers on this album and I have to say there pretty good covers. I cant say I've heard the originals, but from what I hear they seem like good songs, and there best on the album.
Overall, in my opinion no band could make this album like Nargaroth did. For that they get one thumb up. Being serious about it though, its generic, boring, background noise. If you like old school black metal, get this. If you hate boring and generic black metal you should by now dont get it!
Yes, zero. That itself merits a word or two.
I know a lot of reviewers rating on a one hundred-point scale, here and elsewhere, think of a blank tape as being a zero. Anything the band does right would be considered an improvement over that.
I find that to be wrongheaded. I rather like listening to nothing. I spend more time listening to nothing than I do any form of music. In fact, I’m listening to nothing right now. I’d give a blank tape about a fifty. I don’t put much thought into the ratings I assign, but as a very rough rule of thumb, if I give an album a rating of less than fifty, assume I would rather turn the stereo off and sit in silence than trudge through it yet again.
More than fifty means that I enjoy listening to it, to one degree or another. One hundred would mean that the album does everything right, of course. Zero, on the other hand, would mean that an album does everything wrong – that it is the absolute inversion of everything that is right and good about music, a total abomination that should be purged from existence. And that brings us to “Black Metal ist Krieg”, the perfect metonymy of third-wave black metal.
This is a black album about black metal. It uses black metal's iconography and aesthetics, apparently not because of what they signify, but because they are black metal's iconography and aesthetics. It's an intentional cliché, pandering to a niche audience's limited perception of what good black metal is, defined by the genre's most arbitrary and obsolete idiosyncrasies. It's an attempt to make the ultimate black metal album by chopping up the more-admired bits and pieces of more important bands and sewing them back together.
Beyond that, what can be said of it? If you're reading this, you presumably know what Norse black metal sounds like. Well, so does Kanwulf. Do you know what Immortal sounds like? In particular, the song “The Sun No Longer Rises”? Well, Kanwulf has heard it too, as evidenced by the song “Erik, May You Rape the Angels”. No, it’s not as good as any (any) Immortal song by half.
If the title track can be taken at face value, Kanwulf has also heard the disgruntled teenagers practicing their instruments in a garage near you... seriously, this is about as slovenly and generic a black metal song as you’ll find anywhere. Most of its running time is just a few random chords repeated over and over again, while Kanwulf screams "black metal ist krieg", "black metal ist fucking krieg", et cetera. It's obviously supposed to a black metal anthem, a new classic, but fails, partly for trying too hard and partly for being very boring.
“Seven Tears Are Flowing to the River” could be seen as something of a vague analog to Burzum’s "My Journey to the Stars". It's not analogous to the point of actually being any good or anything, but it is melodic and (is supposed to be) introspective. It also kind of reeks of rock music. Check the first few seconds of clean guitar in particular, which might make an effective intro for, say, a Stone Temple Pilots song, or maybe Soundgarden. Can't be sure of Kanwulf is actually influenced by rock music or if he's just falling back on obviousness out of incompetence or laziness. Doesn't matter, I guess. Varg's flowing, classically-inspired melodies are incredibly tough to imitate. Or apparently so - I've never tried, but Kanwulf makes it sound hard as hell.
There’s a song on this album called “The Day Burzum Killed Mayhem”.
(The preceding sentence could serve as a decent enough one-sentence review of the album, summing up pretty much everything you need to know about its mindset, which is the only reason I mention the song at all. If you’re really curious, it’s a Darkthrone derivation not worth the trouble to describe in detail.)
There’s more, of course, but I think I’ve said enough for the reader to get the gist, so I’ll shift my attention to the cover songs, which take up more than one third of the tracks on this album. By virtue of being written by any other human being on the face of the planet besides Kanwulf, they are of course better than Kanwulf’s “original” music.
The Root song’s main claim to fame is supposedly being the inspiration behind the worst song on Burzum’s self-titled, “War”, though I’m inclined to believe they both just ripped off Bathory. The Lord Foul cover reminds me of the main riff from “A National Acrobat”, so I guess it could be worse. There’s one from Moonblood (the band Nargaroth most wishes it was), which is reasonable enough but does not seem be one of the band’s better songs. Not that I’ve heard the original, but I’m assuming it’s as close to a note-for-note replication as Kanwulf could manage. It’s probably still worse than the Moonblood version, I’d wager.
The best song on the whole album is probably the Azhubham Haani cover, which is raw, stripped-down, dissonant black metal that doesn’t appear to be an obvious rip-off of any band in particular. I’m not otherwise familiar with Azhubham Haani, but they might bear investigation.
I know what you’re thinking now – having enjoyed some aspect of this recording, I can’t possibly give it a zero in good conscience, right? Wrong! Reviewing is a subjective art. I have no obligation as a critic to be even the least bit fair, and so it is my prerogative to adjust the score purely out of spite, in order to better reflect my feelings toward to album as a whole. And no album does so much to aggravate me as this one. It's embarassing to the genre. I would much rather listen to a blank tape.
Nargaroth’s Black Metal Ist Krieg is an awesome album that every Black Metal fan should check out, it’s definitely worth owning. Each song on this release is full of emotions, sadness, hatred and misanthropy. The guitar riffs and the vocals are depressive but beautiful at the same time and Kanwulf really expresses his thoughts through his music, that’s what makes this album so great. In the booklet, Kanwulf tells us a few things about his past and comments on every song. That’s pretty interesting to read (if you understand German :p). But now let’s come to the music. I’ll go through the songs one by one:
Introduction - This has no real melody, the instruments are just randomly played. The most important element of this song are the vocals. Kanwulf uses very high shrieks that sound like he’s being tortured. Sometimes you can hear him yell “Blaaaaaack Metaaaal Ist Kriiiieeeg!”. This song is nothing special, but a decent introduction to the rest of the album.
Black Metal Ist Krieg - This is a very powerful song. It will just crush you. It’s like a big wall that suddenly hits your face. The song immediately starts with a killer riff, very aggressive and fast played drums and Kanwulf screaming “Black Metal Ist Krieg”. The vocals and the riff remain always the same until about 2:50, where a different riff kicks in and the drums get a bit less aggressive. The lyrics will remain the same though. This second part is maybe a bit more melodic than the first part. Overall, this is a very good song, even though it is repetitive.
Far Beyond The Stars - This is an Azhubham Haani cover. It’s nicely done and has some very good riffs. There are slow parts as well as fast parts in this song. I have not much to say here. Good song, but not one of the best.
Seven Tears Are Flowing To The River - This is the fourth song on the album and probably the most emotional and saddest one. It’s a love song. It’s also the longest song on the album, with almost 15 minutes length. It starts with a beautiful acoustic guitar part. At 1:10 a quite depressing riff and the drums kick in. Kanwulf only starts singing at 3:20. The guitar work remains the same until the end of the song and never changes. I really like the melody of this song. Awesome song there, either my second favourite song or even my favourite song on the album, I can’t really decide.
I Burn For You - Another cover song, the original is by Lord Foul this time. During the first 15 seconds, you can hear a teenager yelling something, then the music starts. I like this song too, the guitar work is well-done. There is not so much to say here either, because the song isn’t even 3 minutes long.
The Day Burzum Killed Mayhem - As the title suggests, this song is about the murder of Euronymous by Varg Vikernes. According to Kanwulf, Euronymous’ death was the destruction of the Black Metal scene and it has only decreased since then (he also talks about it in the booklet). The song starts with two real news reports in Norwegian from when it happened. At 41 seconds, an aggressive riff suddenly kicks in, aswell as the drums with a blast beat. Then Kanwulf starts singing, this time his voice is a bit lower than on the other songs. The song remains the same until 4:38, where there is a breakdown for a few seconds and then a different more relaxing riff starts and the drums get slower. The song gets aggressive at 6:25 again and remains so until the end. This song is a very good song too with an interesting lyrical theme.
Pisen Pro Satana - This is a Root cover. It’s a decent song but nothing extraordinary. It’s one of the songs that are not outstanding, but there’s nothing bad to say about either (in my opinion). There’s quite some nice riffing though.
Amarok (Zorn Des Lammes III) - Remember when I said that I couldn’t decide if “Seven Tears Are Flowing To The River” was my favourite or second favourite song before? Well, this song is the reason for it. It’s hard to say which one is better, for me they’re about equally good. I really love this song too. It’s quite depressive and kind of sad, but also very beautiful. At the beginning of this song, you can hear waves and thunder. Then there’s something that sounds like a poem. It’s not really singing. It sounds monotonous, but still emotional. At 1:33 a wonderful riff kicks in. This is my favourite riff on the whole album, it’s sad but beautiful at the same time. 30 seconds later the drums start. The “poem” continues until 3:53 where you can suddenly hear Kanwulf screaming, as well as a double-bass. I love that part. Everything is calm and the clean voice is slowly saying the poem and then, out of nothing, BANG! Double-bass and Black Metal shrieks. The riff is still the same as in the beginning, but the song gets more interesting because of the harsh vocals and the more intense drumming. At 5:50, a slightly faster riff starts and remains until the end. Overall, this is an awesome song, and like I said, either my favourite or my second favourite song on this album.
Erik, May You Rape The Angels - This song is dedicated to Erik Brodreskift, the former drummer of Immortal, Gorgoroth and Borknagar, who suicided in 1999. The drumming is very fast on this song and the guitar work is aggressive too. I don’t like this song so much. It’s not too bad, but worse than the other ones in my opinion.
The Gates Of Eternity - This is the fourth and last cover song on the album. The original song is by Moonblood. The riffs on this song are slow, but nice. Good song, although not one of the best.
Possessed By Black Fucking Metal - In this song, Kanwulf says once again that Black Metal has died, but that he is still possessed by it. I like the main riff very much. It’s a well-done song and I think it’s a good ending song for the album. It’s one of the better songs of the album, and you always keep a good memory of an album if the last song is good.
That’s it. We have a fantastic album there. Black Metal Ist Krieg is an awesome Black Metal release. It’s not too raw, most of the riffs are still quite medodic. It’s not too boring either, compared to other Black Metal albums where every song sounds the same. Kanwulf truly expresses all his emotions through the different songs.
This was my introduction to Nargaroth and may I tell you I was quite impressed with it. When I bought it I was expecting a nice album but that's about it, nothing more than a pleassing album I could pop into my stereo and enjoy once in a while. Well I was really wrong. Nargaroth's Black Metal ist Krieg is a superb album.
You won't find complex music or excellent production (actually it was recorded with a fourtrack), you won't find intricate keyboard arrangements or light-speed guitar solos, just great straight-forward Black Metal. So what makes this album so great? you might be thinking. Well my friends what makes this album so great is the honesty in it, the human feeling you get from listening to it, the pure emotion Kanwulf puts on every single note that comes out of your speaker, that is what makes it so great.
Every aspect of the album helps to obtain this sense of purity and honesty, from the minimalistic music, to the production which helps to obtain a certain atmosphere on the album. Everything is part of the statement Kanwulf wants to give.
The album consists of 11 tracks which include 1 intro, 4 covers (Azhubham Haani, Lord Foul, Root, and Moonblood) and 6 Nargaroth songs. The highlights of the album are definetly the Nargaroth songs, although the covers are good (even though some of them can get a bit boring after a while).
Nargaroth is Kanwulf and the Black Metal ist Krieg album is performed almost completely by Kanwulf, who plays all strings and sings, he only recieved help in the drums from Occulta Mors (ex-Moonblood, Nachtfalke) and Butcher (Maniac Butcher).
Some of my favorite tracks in the album have to be:
Black Metal ist Krieg is a really agressive and fast song with simple yet effective riffing and even more simple lyrics.
The ultra-long Seven Tears Are Flowing to the River (almost 15 minutes long) which beggins with a beautiful acoustic guitar passage and has some of the most melancholic riffs in a Black Metal song; also I like the drumming in this track a lot. The only problem I have with this song is it's length, if Kanwulf had made this track shorter (like seven minutes shorter) it would be more effective, but all in all a beautiful song, definetly one of the best ones in the album.
The Day Burzum Killed Mayhem is an amazing track, very agressive, very straight-forward with simple yet memorable riffing.
Amarok - Zorn des Lammes Part III is a really emotional track, it beggins with Kanwulf singing and the sound of waves crashing the background, then a great riff with an epic feel beggins and Kanwulf continues his clean singing and then he switches to the grimm vocals, this song features some really emotional lyrics like "Call me now judas or call me insane, I am what I am, I'm just a man."
All in all an excellent album full of honesty, passion and great music, which is all what Black Metal is about. I highly recommend it to any Black Metal Fan.
Black Metal ist Krieg !
This is an album that is subject to a high amount of praise (or so I have seen.) Some of it, I would say it deserves, but I would definately say it is overrated. The album features four covers - of which [b]I[/b] believe to be the weakest parts of the album, aside from the Root cover.
The first track - Intro - is an intro, and thus does not require an explanation, in my view. It is feedback with some screaming.
The first actual song is the title track. It starts with the scream, proclaiming that BLACK METAL IST KRIEG!!! The title track assaults the senses, and is a tonne better when loud. The lyrics are very simple - mostly repeating Black metal ist krieg... Black fucking metal ist krieg. A moment before the third minute of the song, the tune changes from the fast-paced assault of the first part of the track to one that is a few bpm slower, still repeating the ultra-simple lyrics. The song finishes with this riff, and then we are graced with the next...
Far Beyond The Stars is a Azhubham Haani cover. I find this song to be very boring, to be honest. It pains me to listen to it enough to review it even half-decently. The highlight of this track, however is the riff at the end - it is a genuinely non-boring riff. But after it, I was expecting some sort of speed break. It was the last riff of the song :(
Seven Tears are Flowing to the River starts off with a beautiful introduction, which is followed by beautiful melodic guitarwork. The guitar is complimented by nice, steady blastbeats, and a couple of rolls. The track clocks in at seconds under fifteen minutes, of all lovely riffs. Of course, when I use the words lovely, and beautiful, do not let this put you off - it may be melodic, but not the same type of melody as N*Flymz and the rest of that bullshit melodeath.
The first two lines of lyric are "Seven tears are flowing to the river, And six of 'em are mine." This is a nice lyric, but the rest of the track is sung in (I assume) German - a language that I do not know.I'm not really sure what else to say about this song, because it is very simple (but effective, mind you), and you can't really describe a simple song like this in the great detail of technical death metal. But nonetheless, it is an outstanding track, a beautiful track, that doesn't sound out of place on a stormy night. It is one of the albums slow tracks, proving that good black metal doesn't have to be fast.
The next track, I Burn For You is a Lord Foul cover. It starts off with an excerpt from Reservoir Dogs - the scene isn't really important to know. This is a mid-paced song, and it's not boring like the Azhubham Haani cover, however, I do not find it to be the most outstanding of all covers - nor is it the most outstanding of all tracks. Definitely listenable, but there is a lot better out there.
Following this, is The Day Burzum Killed Mayhem. The song is a tribute to Euronymous, and tells of how Varg murdered him. It starts off with a news report, of which I assume is in German. The track is an okay one, but once more, nothing that stands out. The lyrics show that Kanwulf is one of those who felt that the killing had split the black metal community into two, each having to side with either Euronymous or Varg. The music is faster than the song's predecessor, but not as fast as the title track. Once more, however, the track is rather boring, aside from the riff 6 and a half minutes in, complimented by machine gun-speed blastbeats. After here, the song is actually quite enjoyable, with a few excellent riffs following. The best thing is that the song starts poorly, but ends better, as oppesed to a blinding start and a total anti-climax at the end.
However, the next triplet of songs is the album's highlight. First in line is the Root cover (the song that Varg blatantly stole, but changed the lyrics and added a guitar solo) - Pisen Pro Satana [Song for Satan].) This is an excellent, mid-paced track, with a real evil sound to it, and it climaxes with dual guitars riffing it out complimented by blasting to give it a belting climax.
Up next, is Amarok - Zorn Des Lammes III. It starts off with a vocal duet chant, accompanied by the sound of thunder and high tide. Then, a minuter and a half into the song, the guitar starts. The riff is sharp but distorted, and followed by a roll on the drums, and the second guitar kicks in to amplify the power of the riff, along with a lot of play on the cymbals, and high, cracking thunder. The riff is now mesmerising and beautiful, and complimented by the same vocal chants as those that started the song. Just before the fourth minute, the double bass blasts away, and Kanwulf's snarly scream replaces the chant. The second guitar plays high notes that enrapture, until shortly under six minutes. Then, the music breaks, and becomes more powerful - the beautiful riffs are gone, to be replaced by a more 'epic' one, and steady blastbeats, still complimented by the screaming vocals. This is my favourite track of the album - either this or the next one...
Erik, May You Rape The Angels is a track fast and aggressive. The drumming is fast and relentless, and the guitars are thraping and... well... just "ARGGGHH!!" It is an all-out assault for the first four minutes, but then the song breaks into a different direction, not quite so fast, but with machine gun double bass, and agressive guitars still. At just under five minutes the good ol' [I]ERIK!!! MAY YOU RAPE THE ANGELS!!! ERIK!!! MAY YOU BE YOUR OWN TRAGEDY!!![/I] I love that part. After this, it goes back to the riff of the second portion, with double bass going insane, once more.
Now for the Moonblood cover. The Gates of Eternity is mid-paced, but once more, one of the more boring tracks. Now don't get me wrong, I like Moonblood, but this is one of the few tracks that I don't really like, and so it stands to reason that I dislike the Nargaroth cover. I find it boring and blech. I am aware the 'blech' is not a real word, but it's just how I feel about this song. It's not that it's a bad song, it's just... blech! (That's pronounced "bleck," by the way.)
The album finishes with Possessed by Black Fucking Metal. With a name like that, you would expect a track more akin to the title track - and that would have been more suitable as a closer than this piece of shit. I do not like this track. It is another mid-paced track, with fine guitarwork and okay drumming. After two-and-a-half minutes, it turns fast and more aggressive, but I just feel that this song lacks depth. It is not atmospheric, it is not an aural assault, it is not what I was expecting and it is definately what I was hoping not for. It adds nothing to the album. It is a total anti-climax, and it is a sad ending to what could potentially have been one of the great black metal albums of all time.
Overall, this album is okay. It has some blinding black fucking metal, but it is let down by poor covers, a weak ending, and to be fair, it is just totally inconsistent. If you can, download this album, but there are much better things to spend your money on.
I was almost tempted to change my mind about Countess unleashing the best black metal album of 2001 after hearing Nargaroth's latest album, "Black Metal ist Krieg" - this disc is destined to become a modern masterpiece, I think. It's an album of new material, but it's not a concept album like "Herbstleyd"; in fact, it feels like even more of a mixed bag than "Amarok" was as there is a wide range of material on here. Four covers and six new originals make up this 70-minute disc, and the styles cover almost the entire gamut of approaches to black metal. Bookending this album are two songs in the purest spirit of black metal, "Black Metal Ist Krieg" and "Possessed by Black Fucking Metal". Both are streamlined, simple, aggressive songs dripping with hatred. The title track is a violently fast, blistering opening to the album (featuring Butcher of Maniac Butcher on drums, I'm guessing; he shares the drum throne on this album with Occulta Mors from Moonblood, but few people can drum as fast as Butcher), while "Possessed..." closes out the album with a slower, pummelling assault of crunching riffs.
It's nice to see that, despite the ultraviolence, Kanwulf has not forgotten about the more introspective side of his music. "Seven Tears are Flowing to the River" is another new original, a lengthy piece full of emotion and melancholic guitar riffing. Even at 15 minutes long, the feeling of the song keeps you hooked and almost makes you wish it were twice as long. We are also treated to Part III of the "Amarok" song trilogy; like the earlier parts it evokes the feeling of mourning a time forever gone, but, also like Part II, in a slightly different style from the earlier parts; Kanwulf uses his clean vocals over some almost folk-ish clean guitar strumming in the wistful opening section of the song, which then builds into a heavy, trudging strut riff that's a good deal more angry and malevolent than anything else previously displayed in the song trilogy.
Kanwulf puts his influences on his sleeve for the last two original songs, paying homage to some of his heroes from the early Norse Black Metal scene. "The Day Burzum Killed Mayhem" is of course an obvious tribute to August 15, 1993, complete with a sample of a German newscast apparently reporting the story (my German is rusty; I'm assuming that's what the newscaster is talking about...). Musically it's very much in the early Norse BM style, but stays away from just copying one band or another - quite unlike the other tribute song, "Erik, May You Rape the Angels", a tribute to former Immortal/Borknagar drummer Erik (aka Grim). This song is like something that could have been an outtake from the "Pure Holocaust" sessions - the opening riff is straight out of "A Sign for the Norse Hordes to Ride", while the midpaced chorus section towards the end of the song calls to mind the midpaced triplet strut of "The Sun No Longer Rises". Kanwulf even goes so far as to imitate Abbath's unique croaked vocal approach. A great song, probably the best on the album, and a very fitting tribute to a guy who never actually played on the album...
Finally, of course, are the covers. Rather than relegating them to the end of the album, they are actually mixed in with the originals (the tracklist basically alternates original/cover/original/cover...), and they are well-chosen: Azhubham Haani's "Far Beyond the Stars", Root's "Pisen pro Satana", Lord Foul's "I Burn for You", and Moonblood's "The Gates of Eternity". They fit well with the overall theme of the album and Nargaroth's style, as it's easy to see the common pool of influences that all of the bands share. Especially notable are the Root cover (which, according to Kanwulf's liner notes, was Varg's real inspiration for the Burzum song "War") and the Moonblood cover, probably some of the best post-Darkthrone norse-style BM I've heard.
Even the packaging pays homage to the best of the BM scene - the cover is a simplistic white-on-black in the same manner of Transilvanian Hunger, and the inside is gold lettering on grayscale photos much like Graveland's "Immortal Pride" or "Following the Voice of Blood". The 16-page booklet is FULL of liner notes (in German), in which Kanwulf discusses the album overall and each song in great detail. Half of the songs get a full page of notes.
To sum it all up, this album rules, yet again proving wrong all of the 'BM is dead' lemmings. This is a work of vision and spirit, and it's amazing that Kanwulf can handle all of the many different approaches to black metal and still sound like himself - from epic to melancholy to blasting to crunching, this album is PURE black metal through and through. I recommend it highly.
(Review originally posted at LARM (c) 2001)