Tuesday, 16 August 2011
[ALBUM REVIEW] Kriegshetzer - Panzer Vorwarts
1. Unser Rommel
2. Der Gott (der Eisen wachsen ließ)
3. Flamme Empor
4. Wenn alle untreu werden
5. Hohe Nacht Der Klaren Sterne
6. Schwarz ist unser Panzer
10. Einmal im Jahr
Kriegshetzer are a Ukrainian black metal band who appear to have an extreme infatuation with Nazi Germany. Obligatory German band name (even though you aren’t German yourself)? Check. Cover depicting some item of Nazi military hardware and/or personnel? Check. Adoration of prominent Nazi figure? Check. Hell, we even have a reworking of a classical piece by the German poet Hans Baumann who coincidentally also happened to be heavily involved with the Hitler Youth. Now that is dedication to your ideology, never mind that poor Hans would be rolling in his grave if he ever heard this shit-encrusted, vacuous take on his work. Infact, the only thing this album is missing is the token Burzum cover which every single fucking NS band under the sun seems to have, as if it’s a prerequisite for releasing shitty, inane NSBM.
The music on display here really is nothing at all to write home about. There have been countless bands past and present who have performed and tuned this style of black metal that Kriegshetzer are aiming for to perfection; sadly you have to wade through all the muck to get to them in the first place, and unfortunately for Kriegshetzer, you better stick on your waterproofs.
The style of black metal for the most part revolves mainly around the fast break-neck riffing of Anders, which is a relief because the guitarwork is the only area on this release with any discernible quality whatsoever. Occasionally among the stock riffing, something half-decent will creep out and threaten your neck muscles, but before you know it you’re back to a jumble of derivative riffs again. The guitar tone is somewhat similar to that of Satanic Warmaster, the only difference is Satanic Tyrant knows who to write a decent track.
The vocals have (suprise suprise!) that unmistakable low, gruff German slight to them that so many black metal bands from Germany seem to like, and it’s not a style I’m a massive fan of. Too laid back and without any backbone or delivery. A tad more forceful and some genuine conviction behind them and we may be getting somewhere. This leads me on to the subject of the lyrics, which usually are something I never make a point of paying attention to in black metal, but when you hear “Deutschland ist der schönes Land” which pretty much literally translates to “Germany is the beautiful land”, it’s pretty hard to take seriously. The drum work isn’t too bad, but all too often it just ends up lost in the banality of the whole thing.
Panzer Vorwärtz all in all is just a bit of a non-event. It’s just flat out unremarkable and hollow. When most of the songs aren’t even five minutes long and they still drag, that’s not a good sign. It may be the case with a lot of black metal, but in all honesty you could play the album back as many times as you want and you still wouldn’t be able to pick out an individual song. It might as well be one song on repeat eleven times for all I’m concerned. There is much better coming out of Ukraine at the minute, with bands such as YGG, Ulvegr, Khors and the ilk, there’s really no need to bother with this.
Originally written for Metalcrypt