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Krieg - Destruction Ritual
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.
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.