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KRIEGSMASCHINE - Apocalypticists 2LP

KRIEGSMASCHINE - Apocalypticists 2LP

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Kriegsmaschine still have their finger on our pulse and our fast-twitch muscle fibers, displaying a mastery of how to make their listeners move reflexively. While past Kriegsmaschine releases have depended more on industrial drives, these rhythms have a primal, tribal quality, invoking deep-seated ancestral memories of lurching and dancing in perilous ecstasy around blazing fires when everything beyond the glow was trying to kill us.

But the rhythmic propulsions in these songs are also modern, in the sense that they display a bewitching inventiveness and become as much a source of surprise as a means of putting your head and body in motion. The drumwork and bass lines in the opening track provide an immediate example. The drumming is especially marvelous and remains a vital, attention-grabbing ingredient throughout the album (at least to my ears, Darkside seems to employ Latin American and African rhythms at least as much as others).

Speaking of things trying to kill you beyond the edge of the bonfire’s light, the vocal proclamations are both imperious and blood-freezing in their near-bestial savagery. I didn’t focus on the lyrics in my one listen to the album so far, preferring instead to just let the music wash over me. But based on M.’s prodigious talents as a lyricist, I have no doubt it will be worth reading them (the lyrics are available on Bandcamp) and then paying closer attention to them again in the next turn through the album.

And speaking further of things trying to kill you, the chiming and swirling dissonance of the melodies, which are cold yet gleaming, spellbinding yet unnerving, conjure nightmare visions of terrible grandeur and plague-like doom. Disease strikes down our loved ones like dessicated stalks of wheat before the scythe. Winged demons rise in eminence through the light of pale moons. Lost spirits gibber and wail through the porous fabric between their dimensions and ours. The rhythms are full of blood-pumping life; the vocals burn with hatred; the melodies open our minds in fear to the vast hungering maw of extinction.

In truth, the album is relentlessly eerie and oppressive. As transfixing as the music is, the sense of gloom and terror it generates seeps ever more deeply under the skin as the minutes pass. Apocalypticists is the name of the album, and an equally good name for the people who made these songs. (No Clean Singing)

Double 12" LP, printed innersleeves, gatefold jacket

No Solace 2019

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