Kanonenfieber - Menschenmühle (2021)Release ID: 26638

Kanonenfieber - Menschenmühle (2021) Cover
UnhinderedbyTalent UnhinderedbyTalent / May 09, 2021 / Comments 1 / 1

Hailing from Germany, Kanonenfieber (cannon-fever) have released a debut album that covers the expanses of both black metal and death metal over nine World War 1 themed tracks.  The album was made to commemorate the countless victims of WWI and uses reports, documents and letters from the war to give real authenticity to the recordings.  You get spoken word extracts from broadcasts at the time and also the artwork is an anti-war poster by Mihály Biró considered the founder of political poster art, so there really has been a conscious effort here to explore the subject matter of the album in as much detail as possible.

In terms of musical content you get hateful black metal vocals (which are all the more enhanced by being done in German which just adds perfect edge to them), interwoven with harsh blackened death metal that is used really well to ramp up the pace and add further intensity to tracks.  There's even an acoustic, folk number at the end sang in a clean yet benign and resigned tone that really underlines the futility of the war.  The artist/s (there's no much info on who the band are or how many of them there are in the band) uses the sounds of the battlefield to good effect without giving the feel that this is some Marduk record and they use pace really well with most tracks having some genuine traditional/heavy metal moments.

When you are dealing with such a sensitive subject matter that has been done to death many times before (Hail of Bullets and 1914 I am looking at you) it is easy to fall into some niche metal marketplace, but Kanonenfieber are too smart with their content.  They reflect the controlled chaos of war in their song writing and structures.  The superb pace change in Grabenlieder where they use gunfire to bring in the death metal part of the song is superbly timed.  They even have some sense of melo-death to Grabenkampf  as it plays out from within an almost doom style structure.

I literally stumbled across this album on Instagram when one of the journo's I follow there shared the cover on Bandcamp Friday and I have since gone and purchased the CD and t-shirt from the record label Bandcamp page.  One of my neatest finds of 2021 thus far.

Sonny Sonny / May 31, 2021 / Comments 0 / 0

Menschenmühle is the debut release of Kanonenfieber, the one-man, Bavarian black metal project of a guy who goes by the name of Noise. Well, noise this isn't. What it is, is a commemoration of the dead of The Great War by virtue of some high quality black and death metal songwriting. Sure it's not groundbreaking or challenging - it's not Deathspell Omega obviously and of course the usual suspects are out slinging vitriol it's way for being unoriginal or uncvlt or some such shit, but f@@k them, this is a damn fine album for any black metal acolyte willing to judge an album on it's merits rather than how cool it makes them appear. The production is sterling and the music is clear as a bell. There's absolutely nothing wrong with putting out a well-made and thoughtfully produced black metal album that doesn't reinvent the wheel or push the boundaries of the listener's endurance to breaking point, but instead successfully weaves kickass songs and a dark, but poignant theme into a cohesive whole that is at once hugely enjoyable and intensely thought-provoking.

Personally, I really enjoyed it's often quite melodic black and blackened death metal and with it's sporadic forays into doom metal territory there is plenty of tonal variety on offer. The samples and field recordings from the time add depth to the overall concept and help with the listener's immersion into the album's atmosphere. Seriously though, how can any genuine metalhead not get some enjoyment from a track like Grabenlieder, especially the fantastic moment when the guitar, followed by the drums, mimic the machinegun fire sample? And when all the chaos is over, the acoustic final track is so poignant with it's feeling of resignation and bone-deep weariness that it's hard to feel unaffected. This is a terrific record and if you simply want to listen to some top-drawer, but not necessarily life-changing, black metal then hit this up.


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The Horde
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