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Monday, October 6, 2014
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Next year Krieg will celebrate their twentieth anniversary. Hip hip hip hurray!

Anyway, throughout those two decades, I have been a true ‘fan’ for a couple of reasons. One reason is that this band has always stayed true to its roots. They did not follow trends in order to reach a bigger audience, nor did they experiment with progressive outbursts whatsoever. The members are involved with other projects and bands, and they do have the opportunity to canalise their experimental longings in those other outfits. And on top of it, their vision on the USBM-current has always been done with craftsmanship, conviction and persuasion. But one cannot ignore, and that’s rather logical, a certain evolution in time-historical existence.

Throughout those two decades of existence, Krieg created a huge catalogue, consisting of many demos and EP’s, numerous splits, and six full lengths. The last one, The Isolationist, was released at the end of 2010 (for the review, see the Archive-section in this webzine, on the December 31st 2010-update). In between that album and this seventh full length, Krieg did some more EP’s and split-7”EP’s (with the likes of Leviathan, Esoterica, Moloch or Wolvhammer a. o.).

Transient, album number seven, was recorded in early 2014 at the Machines With Magnets studio with Seth Manchester and Keith Souza taking care of engineering and mastering. On this album, Neil ‘Lord Imperial’ Jameson (also involved with, for example, The Royal Arch Blaspheme, Hidden or March Into The Sea / Urine) was assisted by quite an impressive (session) line-up (once again): former Decieverion-members Jason Dost and Dean Sykes (both of them are in Grind-act Occult 45 too), Dylan Zdavanage (think: Slutlust or Castle Freak), Alex ‘Esoterica’ Poole (the guy behind majestic projects like Esoterica [Neil, Jason, Dylan and Dean are part of the live line-up for this superior project - FYI], Chaos Moon [the review on the new album, after seven years of impatiently awaiting, was put online on September 27th - FYI], Coffins or Lithotome, a. o.), and Daniel ‘Diabolus’ Martin (known from Sangraal, Iron Gavel, Sick, Vomit Orchestra, Vrolok etc., and also involved with Alex’ band Lithotome; so is Neil too, by the way).

And for the first time I cannot say anymore: Krieg are a constant. The first half of the album does not comport this statement, for tracks like Order Of The Solitary Road or Atlas With A Broken Arm bring that what we are used to, and what we do want to hear from Krieg. At least, that’s what I do. Those songs bring firm, pounding and uncompromising USBM (read: the kind of Black Metal that defines the scene that gives a majestic answer on the Scandinavian and Quebecois one). No matter if you know the likes of Leviathan, Xasthur or more recent acts like Ash Borer or Falls Of Rauros, or the other bands / projects the members are involved with; Krieg cannot deny a certain comparability ay all, and no one, yet truly not one single human entity, will be able to pretend the contrast.

The first half of the album is mainly what we are used to enjoy: blaspheme, dirty and angry Black Metal with a sick undertone. But more than before, Krieg dwells within other spheres of the darkened spectrum. A couple of tracks, like To Speak With Ghosts or Walk With Them Unnoticed (which also exhales an atmosphere of Atmo-Suicido-Melo-Black, hehe), have something rather Post-Black oriented, with those gruesome, sleazy riffs and the slowly-pushing tempo. Some pieces come with a punkish aggression (like the sludgy-droning middlefinger-in-your-ass-outburst Winter) or with inclusion of pseudo-electronic / ambient excerpts (Ruin Our Lives). And with Home, we have something rather apart, with a first half that comes with soundscaped sampling from I-have-no-idea-what-is-going-on (an excerpt from a movie?), and a second half of the track that brings semi-acoustic riffing, followed by more spoken soundscapes.

Transient might be the most distinctive album ever done by Krieg, with both their traditional style as well as a refreshing, slightly surprising experimentation. The latter, however, never loses the core identity of this famous / fabulous project, but you might be overtaken by this progression. Don’t ignore my warning whatsoever, okay?!