Summaryenjoyable but overlong without enough to justify it
|4.5 (1 votes):|
Someone may, for some reason, describe Kriemhild to you as death metal. Perhaps you will glean from the band describing themselves as being influenced by death metal bands that you should come into 2021 LP Face the Wrath expecting to hear some quantity of death metal. You might’ve even looked at their Metal Archives page, or some other repository of information about various metal bands on the internet, or at the band’s Bandcamp page, where this album is simply tagged as “death metal”, and come away from that expecting that you might start listening to this album and hear death metal. All of these are false advertisement, and if you are exclusively interested in death metal, rather than melodic black metal, not a single minute of this album is going to interest you.
If, however, melodic black metal with upbeat, bordering-on-power-metal thrash sensibilities suffused into its composition and songwriting does interest you, then Face the Wrath will give you an hour of fairly enjoyable, if at times direly repetitive material to chew through. For a two man project, with the core instrumentation entirely provided by Joakim Rimhagen, it’s executed fairly well; distorted, staccato riffs deftly alternate and interweave with long passages of melodic tremolo picking, with these conventional black metal building blocks generally applied to bright, sometimes even catchy progressions that then break apart into raw chaos for short stretches. The closest that any element of his playing gets to what one could conventionally call “death metal” are in the solos, which pause the onslaught of buzzsaw picking for neoclassically-influenced shredding that, if anything, calls further to roots in thrash metal than in death metal— of all things, the comparison that comes to mind are San Diego shredders Exmortus, who owe at least as much to the Bay Area bands of the early ‘80s as they do to any melodic death metal product of Norway or Sweden. The other side of that coin are the much simpler, mid-tempo, black’n’roll-esque ideas that take up a good chunk of, say, “The Path”, or the sections of “Escape” that chug along like they were plucked from the midst of a Rammstein bridge, which are about as bland and inoffensively heavy as the bulk of the mid to later-period Satyricon material that it seems to be fond of.
The fact that Joakim’s bass playing is almost entirely subordinate to his guitar, to the extent that it seems to simply settle into the position of being a particularly heavy rhythm guitar rather than an element out on its own, similarly belies a more Scandinavian primary influence— there’s no striking out with a monstrous, fuzzy, rumbling growl at the low-end, nor any bouncy, jazzy, or more technical fare that would stand out against the neverending (and seemingly never-evolving) galloping; or, at least, if any moments of those departures do occur somewhere on the album, they’re completely buried in the mix, given absolutely no emphasis and smushed down into more rhythm-guitar chugging. This leaves the drums to fill in as the rhythm section for most of the record, and they don’t do a particularly admirable job; the fact that they’re programmed leaps to the ear almost immediately and lingers around as a distracting artificiality, with the occasional fill tossed in near the beginning or end of a song seemingly as an afterthought before five minutes of two double-bass patterns alternating back and forth (at most), with the last hope for any semblance of variety being robotic, perfectly-paced blast beating that does very little to up the tempo or the impact; when I tire of paying attention to the insistent distorted repetition on one fret-board, there’s very little to look to on the other fret-board or elsewhere in the music for reprieve.
At least Filip Leo provides a well-suited set of screams to accompany it all, rock-solid and consistent from start to finish; he seems like an obvious pick as a full-time component of the project, considering he lays down howls like a professional, but perhaps giving him a clean vocalist or another growler to contrast against would make him a little more interesting over the runtime of an album. This seems like a duo that would sound good live with another bassist to provide them some more bottom-end, and if they could give their rhythm section a more stand-out role it would perhaps alleviate the feeling that every idea is being pulled out to its absolute maximum possible length— so there’s definitely promise in Kriemhild, here, as well as at least one or two enjoyable listens to be had in Face the Wrath.
If you really would like to support Antichrist, you can just Share our article.
You can also support Antichrist by sending a couple bucks to cover some webhosting expenses. =>> PayPal