Label: No Solace
Kriegsmaschine is the other side of the coin that we know as Mgła. Also known as KSM, the project has originally been the focus of this group of musicians from Poland. Yet, in recent years slowly this has started to shift towards the other band with big shows and a lot of attention from metal fans in the wake of the black metal resurgence.
So Kriegsmaschine had been silent since 2014 and it was with a blast they’ve returned with a new record. ‘Apocalypticists’ is an excellent slab of hypnotic black metal of their unique blend. Highly tribal and surprising, it contains an unsurpassed willingness to evolve, to mutate and transcend boundary terms. That’s what makes this record such fun.
We jump right into it with ‘Residual Blight’, which is a surprisingly rich groovy track from the get-go. The music is highly engaging in its tribal dynamics. When the vocals come in it becomes an exertion of sweltering fury. This is a persistent element in the music, also on ‘The Pallid Scourge’, which is still seething with a harrowing threat. The rolling drums and agonized guitars, it’s like a machine that grinds and squeaks as it spits outs vitriol. In other words, it’s brilliant.
All the tunes from Kriegsmaschine have that same, churning heaviness. A solid slab of rhythm with those rolling drums and a dense network of guitars is ever present on tracks like ‘Lost in Liminal’ and even on the title track. I love how each song just rolls on like that, full of tension, complexities, but also yielding itself directly tot he listener with all its slithering darkness. The vocals are barked in a commanding tone, as the instruments coil around it in a vast, complex carpet of sound.
The record finishes with ‘On the essence of transformation’, another dark and foreboding track with vocals akin to a spoken word delivery. It’s not really a tune to bang your head to, but to just wait. Wait like a rabbit gazing into the approaching headlights…. And let the darkness embrace you.