kriegsmaschine – enemy of man (2014)

the end of times. kriegsmachine is calling it. singing about it. playing to it. in the utmost cold and lifeless manner, enemy of man is on full assault mode, relentlessly bringing the end of times throughout.

one cannot mention the immense polish black metal scene without kriegsmachine, sharing the drummer (darkside) and the main man (m.) of mgła, with the addition of constant band member destroyer on vocals. however, it is quite different than mgła and a fresh breath in black metal artistry. their second full-length enemy of man is a quite different and progressive gem, anything but readily accessible, catchy or uplifting. the war machine hits you. pounds you. on and on. and it takes more than a few listens to explore the magnitude of awesomeness under heavy battery.

first things first, more than half of the album is drum work. an incredible and respect-demanding amount of time was obviously spent on writing and performing the drum tracks. such a listening experience (such technicality very variation wow). darkside never gives a break from his unbelievably complex and hard to follow drum sections, with a heavy wtf? effect, leaving the listener wondering if it is actually a single human being with two arms behind the drum kit. the riffing is integrated within and under the drums, with a fitting apocalyptic tune. while the riffs themselves may be found as nothing unordinary, the atmosphere created by the guitars, gloomy and unsympathetic, complements the whole end of times theme masterfully, supported by such a meaty bassline. and last but not least, destroyer utters the chants of apocalypse with inhuman apathy towards life. his vocal range is quite wide and thick, accentuating the death metal sound so evident in polish black metal.

the album showcases a non-conventional approach to song writing, with black metal riffing playing second fiddle, so to speak. at the end of the album and after the ear ringing ends, there are hardly any riff-led melodies lingering. this emphasis on structure rather than melody is the obvious trademark. this is not done, however, for the sake of continuity. the music flows beautifully and brutally, as the listener is constantly battered by bass/snare/cymbal, growls and riffs in stormy weather. you even have some groovy outros. and the overall effect lies in the way in which all this is brought together, chaotic, distant and grandiose, commanding repetitive listens to get through the lava lake of drums to reach the substance.

the whole album is a gleaming pinnacle of black metal artistry in song writing and execution. the rather deep sound encourages you to turn the volume constantly up. besides the intro of beautiful chanting in german, this is all drums, guitars, bass and vocals and a progressive masterpiece of black metal. still, the “progressive” is not a separate part from the “black metal”, as it often is the case. in this sense of integration, kriegsmachine may be accepted as successful as (the unavoidable comparison) deathspell omega. the album contains 6 attention demanding and lengthy songs of equal calibre but the opening track is legendary. wow poland, nice going. keep it coming.

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