August 30, 2014

Wolvhammer / Krieg - Split

Written by Matt Hinch.

The inevitable matchup between US Black Metal stalwarts Wolvhammer and Krieg has arrived. A couple months ago to be correct. I'm a little behind. On this split from Broken Limbs each band contributes a single track making for a quick and dirty little 7".

Wolvhammer takes the A Side with sludgeoning black metal on a track titled "Slaves to the Grime". Based on a groovy pulse and a simple yet effective riff it mixes more tempos in before returning to the original headbangin' throb. Epic, doomy passages open up the snarling tone and skittering guitars bring paranoia to the sludgy plod. Blackened rhythms up the ante to match the disgusted rasp admonishing the mindless hordes driving themselves toward extinction in service to "The Man". It's nothing unexpected from Wolvhammer but that's not a complaint. It's yet another example of how they are able to fuse the spirit of black metal to engaging riffs and grim but grinning groove.

The ever-prolific Krieg take a more frigid path on their side. "Eternal Victim" may only be 3:30 long but there's no lack of icy venom. It too comes full circle, starting and ending on a cold, dark, gritty note. The overriding feel is one of bleak desperation as the impassioned screams reek of hate and menace. But stuck in the middle is a super catchy riff that makes you want to grab someone by the throat and scream "This is what it's all about!" full on in their face. Following a brief blitz the track returns to the anguished darkness and fades into nothing.

Both bands have a busy 2014 with Wolvhammer releasing Clawing into Black Sun on Profound Lore in July and Krieg set to unleash Transient next month as well as live dates for both. So when this came out back in June it served as a sort of teaser for both band's new albums.

The pairing is natural to be sure. Both songs give the listener something to grab on to as they grapple for purchase amongst the icy tone of these USBM mainstays. And hey, it's cheap!

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

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