German Metal

Kreator – Hate Über Alles Review

Kreator – Hate Über Alles Review

“More than any notable thrash band of the 80s, Kreator dabbled in different styles, tweaked and retweaked their formula, sometimes to their detriment. 1992s Renewal tried to fuse hardcore and industrial elements into their thrash sound with wildly mixed results, and Endorama went for something like a goth metal style that was weird to say the least. In recent years they’ve been more restrained in their experimentation, incorporating doses of anthemic traditional metal into their sound. It’s been 5 years since Gods of Violence and the singles released for Hate Über Alles suggested Kreator had been bit by the experimentation bug once again.” Impact Kreator.

Circle of Silence – Walk Through Hell Review

Circle of Silence – Walk Through Hell Review

“Fate and happenstance have conspired against Germany’s Circle of Silence lo these many years. I was scheduled to review both their 2013 outing The Rise of Resistance and 2018s effort The Crimson Throne. In both cases, I was forced to drop them to cover bigger albums and Circle of Silence was silenced. When I saw the promo for fourth album, Walk Through Hell bobbing in the noxious filth of the promo sump, I made a blood oath that no force on Earth or beyond would prevent me from reviewing it. I owed it to them.” Hell, oaths, wictory and wengeance.

Blood Torrent – Void Universe Review

Blood Torrent – Void Universe Review

“I miss the 1980s. There’s a special place in my heart for bands that foreshadowed the development of extreme metal while keeping one foot firmly planted in their thrash or NWoBHM roots, like Sodom, Venom, and Slayer. German first-wave black metal enthusiasts Blood Torrent agree. We get lots of promos that cite early-90s second-wave bands as influences, but it’s rarer that albums purport to revive their mid-80s ancestors.” Blood and olde treasure.

Destruction – Diabolical Review

Destruction – Diabolical Review

“This year will see new releases from two of the Big Three of German thrash. Destruction are up first with fourteenth album Diabolical, with Kreator to answer in June. Though Destruction was my favorite of the Big Three during much of the 80s due to the cooly quirky, borderline black metal style of albums like Infernal Overkill, Eternal Devastation and Release From Agony, their later-era releases have been very hit or miss.” Over or underkill?

Luzifer – Iron Shackles Review

Luzifer – Iron Shackles Review

“A question was posed on Twitter, the most reliable source of information in the world, earlier this year asking which up-and-coming band was going to be the Next Big Thing. Someone commented that Luzifer was that band, and seeing March promo just sitting there all forlorn, I grabbed it. I knew nothing about them, and there’s a good chance you, dear reader, did not either. Turns out this German trio is three-fifths of the speed metal band Vulture, and Iron Shackles is their first full-length release.” Zatan’s Returnz.

Unru – Die Wiederkehr des Verdrängten Review

Unru – Die Wiederkehr des Verdrängten Review

“There’s something about abstractness in music that rides a fine line between tantalizing and off-putting. While anything tagged “avant-garde” is immediately greeted by a chorus of hissing and boos, there are ways to create effectively challenging tunes using relatively standard methods. Some metallic styles are born out of this aesthetic, as post-metal’s emphasis on landscapes or drone’s focus on overwhelming density spring to mind, but black metal has always maintained a bit more straightforward nostalgia in the unholy trinity: tremolo, blastbeats, and shrieks. Unru seeks to challenge such things.” Dare to be difficult.

Non Est Deus – Impious Review

Non Est Deus – Impious Review

“It’s fair to say that excitement was running high when I got the promo for Non Est Deus‘ third full-length, Impious. Not, I admit, because I was actually familiar with the first two LPs—this has since been rectified—but because of the German man behind Non Est Deus known as Noise. Why? Well, Noise is also the man behind Kanonenfieber, which produced my 2021 AOTY in Menschenmühle.” Unholy Noise.

Kluizenaer – Ein Abbild der Leere Review

Kluizenaer – Ein Abbild der Leere Review

“Formed as a solo project back in 2015, Kluizenaer—a German outfit, despite choosing the Dutch for ‘hermit’ as its nom de guerre—dropped a debut album, Radbraak, that a few cursory searches of the usual sources has failed to uncover. Since I am assured by the promo blurb that the debut comprised “abstract sound collages of blackened ambient and noise,” I did not intensify my searches. Radbraak was followed by two more obscure EPs before 2018’s locate-able Das ungebrochene Schweigen (The unbroken Silence), by which point Kluizenaer had evolved into a trio.” Evolution/mutation.

Anachoret – Syndrom Review

Anachoret – Syndrom Review

“An anachoret—anchorite in English—is someone who has committed to live an ascetic life in solitary confinement in order to devote themselves to prayer. In this way, they reflect the notorious stereotype of the solo black metal musician. Anachoret is no exception, being the solo black metal project of the mysterious K.C. This debut LP has apparently been three years in the making, following a demo, two splits, and an EP over a span of ten years.” Life in a lonely grave.

Tension – Decay Review

Tension – Decay Review

“When I came down with damnable Omicron recently, I needed all the comfort food and music I could get. Like comfort food, comfort music is almost guaranteed to contain a robust helping of processed cheese baked into recipes from a previous era, so I was thrilled when Dr. Metal Guy handed down the pixelated, Nosferatu-bedecked cover of Tension’s
debut, Decay. Add in that Dying Victims Productions had put out two of my favorite trad/speed albums of 2021 in  Significant Point’s Into the Storm and Heavy Sentence’s Bang to Rights, and my excitement was reaching a literal fever pitch. Could Tension recapture the magic of those releases from early last year to kick off 2022?” Keeping the olde ways.