Review: Insane rage of Krieg at its rawest, with no introductory material or relenting in this surprisingly melodic demonic chant metal featuring raw-throated suicidal screams that leave no flesh hanging where vocal cords once stood, demonstrates concept at a level below the conscious mind. Riffs ride a rhythm until there is dissonance in continuation and then explode into fragmentary attacks that break by theme, with each theme mirrored in riff and vocals through the replicative pairing of ideas forming the basic concept of paradox behind the song. Unexpectedly brilliant is the fusion of death metal riffs with black metal melodic drive that gives some strength to verse passages.
Forgotten Secrets (2000):
1. Destruction Ritual (4:22)
2. To Wander The Stars (3:54)
3. The Ancients Dwell Underneath (4:23)
4. As Graveyard Rites...As Darkness Falls (5:38)
The Church (2001):
5. Destruction Ritual (4:44)
6. To Wander The Stars (4:23)
War the metaphor, the topic eclipses karmic interaction for broader statements of being. As an epic emptiness engulfs humanity the ideals and raw will to commit such unbalanced and direct material to digits as expressed sensu Krieg exhibit the heroic ideals of prevalence of ideal against obstacles including the tedium of musical knowledge and refinement, forming something as vital as the hardcore underground once was through generation of logic in the unthinkable and vitally alienated music that this is. While some pieces wander into Wagnerian juxtaposition collage of emotional symbols, the strength of this music is in the heartpump of throbbing dissonance in framework boundaries within song structure through tone-centric progression establishment via relevance in rhythm, a knighthood of subconscious descent beneath the conscious and its discursive storm of dead static chaos flooding us with guilt, doubt, self-reflective ego paranoia and other traits of the Judeo-Christian thought empire.
Rawness in production and explosively minimal but gracefully, connectedly vital sound, pulses in the infrastructure of conflicts that form the alleys and catacombs of a switching system, directing the flow of user attention through a framework of ideas that strike or stimulate and catch us up in their evolutionary appeal. As most American black metal degenerates into footballish Motorhead/death metal fusion bands the growth of bands such as Krieg who maintain the raw edged dedication to minimalist and alienist riffing in the style of Profanatica, Beherit or Sarcofago is fuel for further growth in blackmetal, a framework of continuation upon which some surviving clueful can also build.
Kult ov Azazael:
Working urgency and brief melody into a blasting death metal polemic with the forward aggression of black metal in a delivery that brings out the basic grindcore influences in underground metal, with driving scream crashing into a relapsed death metal structural crossover and then suspended, double-hit muffled gallop progression into oblivion, Kult ov Azazel grind into melody with aggression. For the most part it is reasonably convincing.
Kult ov Azazel:
1. Intro (0:51)
2. In the Plagued Realm (4:52)
3. Symbionic 666 (3:47)
4. Destruction to the Throne of God (3:38)
5. Forever Heaven Gone (4:04)
6. Knights of the Holocaust (4:46)
7. Fallen Ones (2:19)
8. Slit Their Throats to the Spine (4:36)
9. Shadows of the Fallen Kingdom (2:36)
10. Power of Darkness (2:06)
11. Coldwindflame (4:34)
Majesty in churning noise of rippingly aggressive guitar strumblast and percussion dancing with the light feet of a spearman before hurling the missile of rushing musical impulse through structure on the edge of disintegration, interpreted in the aesthetic sense of underground metal from the Eastern U.S., Krieg is charging chaos which captures the grandest nihilism of black metal in spirit and undefinable "edge" qualities best cited as the inspired paranoia of improvisation. Roaring between Profanatica-styled ultra-minimalism and larger interactive structures resembling Darkthrone-styled black metal or the more advanced doom/death from North America, this band expand a lexicon of textures in shredding, decomposing, often instrumentally disintegrating expansions which conquer space and time with linear modal overlays and raw chromatic detonation soaking the entire work in the nihilistic, empty, commanding world of black metal.
Review: Levelled to the ground, Krieg is what occurs when humans thrust their indescribable psyche into making cryptic but resonantly familiar and natural music, creating often improvisationally to render power chords and noise into a flowing continuity of sound. In this compilation of early and eBay-inflated rarities what shows most of the Krieg mythos is its obsession with making an alienated pop music to fill the void with careless yet comprehensively synthesized sonic shapes of metaphorical and thematic significance, synergizing elements of radiant similarity to render around the listener a cloak of suspension of disbelief and all social law above primal opposition.
1. The Church
2. My Wanderings Through the Ancient Mists
4. Alarum (Victory Marches Eternal)
5. Call of the Primitives/Battle At Creations End
6. An Endless Path
7. Reanimation of the Long Departed
8. The Mirror Reflects?
10. Fallen Ones
11. A Crumbling Shrine
12. Ruin under the Burning Skies
15. ColdWind Flame
16. Arising Warkult
17. The Withering of Eve
18. Devil Pig (Von cover)
Like a flaring of noise in distant catacombs the roar of guitar guides each song into its passages and intersections, suspended in the forward urgency of throatshaking drumming and achieving a momentum through connective ingenuity which deepens immersion in the symbols and fragments of mapping that Krieg use to create riff families. Themes blossom and decay amidst the constant hollow explosion muffled like the existence of humans in a technological society, allowing the voice to emerge and twist emphasis at junctures to maintain its dark aura.
Vocalizations ranging from the most civilized scream to a primitive, undogmatized shriek form the visible solidity of this music, placing complex and often improvised passages into a context of texture and tonal suggestion which anchors them and allows their developmental contributions to augment the music. Chord voicings vary to the dissonant at essential points and black metal power strum technique fuses harmony to central narrative. While interludes populate this disk, its intensity is enough to keep attention to music throughout.
As black metal was born, partly of artistic impulse of the highest intent and partly of a corrupt put-on like genre namers Venom, Krieg is a surging organic chaos of varying merits and strengths which when at full vitality spews its disgust with rancid vocals and pugilistic stringed mayhem. Its world once entered projects an epic of noble intensity rising from the mundane disorder and conflict populating the subconscious landscape of human knowledge.
Review: This age with its endless stream of media and soundbites tells us of the insecurity and meaninglessness of our surroundings, yet it leaves unaddressed the question of the spirit of the individual seeking growth over the secure but suffocating modern techno-reality. From the firestorm of existential angst one might expect such parlayers of mortality to experience, the musical entity known as Krieg emerges with the most focused and listenably shaped album yet.
Where previous efforts eschewed structure for raw rhythm and texture, on this album songwriting has been trimmed to fit discernibly cyclic patterns and conclusive individual expressions tapering off into darkness of silence. Far from under control, the roaring vocals of Imperial stretch phrases and alter rhythms as pleasing the master of corruption who guides each song with a majestic sense of timbre and newly, tone. Sliding a few more notes into the range of each sentence this vocalist lashes out with horror complemented on its more irrational side by chaotic melody.
1.Destruction Ritual (5:10)
2. To Wander the Stars... (4:14)
3. The Ancient Dwells Beneath (4:41)
4. As Graveyard Rites... As Darkness Falls (5:58)
5. Coldwind Flame (5:04)
6. The Immaculate Whore (4:28)
7. Suicide Amidst Katharsis (1:55)
8. A Crumbling Shrine (3:41)
9. Black Ash Snowfall (2:36)
10. Enhanced Soil Where Fierce Battles Once Raged (3:54)
11. Still Waters Shall Remain their Tombs (2:10)
Although no edge has been lost on fiery and vengeful songs, the effect of careful shaping has produced a delivery that at first seems subtler than previous efforts, but over time reveals itself to be of a more focused dynamic to allow songs to speak for themselves. Of note for its anchoring of the musical chain is the drummer who here balances a need for numbing hypnotic consistency with a desire for variation inherent to all musicians. These songs, mostly of an older and revised nature, ratchet the mind into the morbid sense of darkness that appealed on earlier black metal, of the first album Immortal or Graveland era.
While Krieg have been active since "Rise of the Imperial Hordes" in 1997, the gnarled and morbid nature of this music in maturity has a higher density of idea and greater consequence of aesthetic, showing a band who have been stalwarts of the underground in the growth of their success. It is well-deserved as all material of this band has consistently reinforced their concept of the will unleashed, and the individual over a dying and conceptually bankrupt world. While most material in the black metal style is as of 2001 generic, Krieg remains a rare exception for the unrelenting pursuit of a certain truth with a hatred and vigor that baffles normals.
Production: Full and resonant with analog levels of room sound and bleed.
Review: That black metal became a form of indie rock surprises few, since black metal first hybridized with basic punk, and indie emerged from punk; ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny -- however, Krieg reverses the path with The Isolationist by going back to the influences of original black metal even while adopting a thoroughly post-rock aesthetic, like Jesu trying to re-envision Blasphemy.
Compositionally possessing more in common with early electronic body music (EBM) and synthpop than the melange of indie rock and modern hardcore that is most "post-rock," this album creates vast spaces out of plodding beats and melodic hooks using dissonant chords and as few notes as possible. Riffs are atmospheric by the nature of strumming chords in in blocks to achieve a transition significant in the harmonic context of the song, adopting technique but not songwriting style from atmospheric rock like Velvet Underground or 13th Floor Elevators and modern hardcore like Integrity or Neurosis.
The metal craft of sculpting phrasal riffs and gluing them together in extended grammars as a result appears less here because as in very slow doom or post-metal, riffs are here to fill time with resonant sound, not make phrases out of it; however, the result is a slow building intensity of noise built around the kind of black metal pop that Krieg pioneered with "Cold Wind Flame" and other songs that bind the blistering and the catchy. The result sweeps up all of the charged potential in its atmosphere and funnels it through a memorable phrase, burning it in our heads like an electroshock meme.
By finding a balance between the raw chaos and a desire to make more hummable songs through applying the techniques of post-rock in a more significant context, Krieg finds its healthiest direction since the live album in that these songs fit together smoothly and sustain atmosphere without falling into directionless repetition. Were the influences of post-metal/post-rock removed, we might see this album as a more mature version of the first neo-improv Krieg release, Rise of the Imperial Hordes.
1. No Future (6:27)
2. Photographs From An Asylum (5:51)
3. All Paths to God (5:00)
4. Ambergeist (4:09)
5. Depakote (7:17)
6. Religion III (2:30)
7. Blue of Noon (4:43)
8. Decaying Inhalations (5:50)
9. ...And the Stars Fell On (6:52)
10. Remission (3:01)
11. Dead Windows (3:42)