Hailz to Broken Limbs for putting out this split release! Krieg hail not from the frozen vasts of Finland or Norway, as their sound may suggest, but Somers Point, New Jersey, though they’re just about as evil as allowable. Since 1995, Krieg has just not given a damn, only being concerned with bringing forth musical gloom, dispensing with the usual occultist/Satanic rhetoric. ‘Eternal Victim’ does just what a band called Krieg should, and creates atmospheres both slow and doomy and warlike. The alternations of tempos, and the use of blistering rawness coupled with a sense of melody, hearkens to Finland’s notorious Satanic Warmaster, and that’s certainly no bad thing. Those looking for a good headbang section will get plenty, as Darkthrone’s early days definitely left their impression on this crew.
2008 brought us Minneapolis’ Wolvhammer, and being more modern, are unsurprisingly in league with the blackened sludge/crust end of the cauldron, bringing to mind acts like nearby Chicagoans Welkin Dusk, with the dirgey sludge influence of Japan’s Coffins. “Slaves To The Grime” struts with a swaggering rock-tempo verse like a wolf slathered in petrol, and also boasts whirlwind tremolo picking sections like an avalanche sending ice daggers. The vocals are a pure stormy howl, of which any fan of the genre will find at least palatable. Think Lightning Swords Of Death but with less cosmic echo. Again, the production is raw-ish, but it is used to benefit the aura rather than create static for kvlt sake. If anything, you could say this is quite ‘well-produced’, but that’s because you can even hear the rumbling of what appear to be some low-end frequencies. Shocking?
While this may seem a glowing review, bear in mind that both Krieg and Wolvhammer are certainly not re-inventing the formulæ they play; rather, they have done well in their arts, but it’s been done, is being done, and will continue to be done as long as people like it. But that being said, a worthwhile release, with slight favour going to the Krieg side, as I feel it’s just more… well… krieg. USBM in all its glorious despair has a light of hope.