Review: Kanonenfieber “Menschenmühle” [Noisebringer Records]

Review: Kanonenfieber “Menschenmühle” [Noisebringer Records]

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Here’s a gloomy World War First-themed black/death metal album that has its moments but isn’t well-made or long enough to make a big impact.

Most tracks begin or end with an excerpt from wartime radio broadcast in German, or a spoken word part meant to sound like that. Between the spoken words, there are some fast-paced black/death metal numbers. The first track, “Die Feuertaufe”, has an interesting slow and melancholic riff that makes a few regular appearances, always followed by mean, heavy riffs and pounding drums. The band shows some sense of speed an energy on the black metal influenced “Der Letzte Flug”. They show how heavy they can get on tracks like “Dicke Bertha”, which does feel really big and dangerous. This one sounds more like an old school death metal song because of its massive and threatening feel. “Die Schlacht Bei Tannenberg” is a long and slow-paced track that shows an obvious doom metal influence with its heavy and melancholic riffs. The outro, “Verscharrt und Ungerühmt” sounds more like a strange folk ballad.

All those tracks show some creativity from the band, and are probably the most enjoyable of the album. But after a while, the music becomes a little repetitive, for example on “Grabenlieder”, which recycles a few riffs from “Die Feuertaufe”, and on most of the following tracks which blend together. The album has an overall pretty generic feel to it.

As for the overall mood of the album, I’d say it captures the dreary and desperate feel of WWI battle scenes as popular culture tends to portray them. So you must be in the right mood for that kind of album or it might ruin your day. An album that makes you feel sad isn’t a problem if the music is good enough to be still enjoyable. But this one is a little repetitive and generic, like I said. It’s not exactly terrible, as there is some nice energy and heaviness, and a real sense of melancholy, and in many songs I hear glimpses of an album I could really like. I guess I’d recommend it if you’re interested in history and war-inspired metal, and if descriptors like “dreary” and “generic” don’t scare you away. But even then, I’d recommend only the highlights I’ve already mentioned.

Release date: February 20th, 2021

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