1914 - Where Fear and Weapons Meet (2021)Release ID: 31780

1914 - Where Fear and Weapons Meet (2021) Cover
Sonny Sonny / November 05, 2021 / Comments 1 / 1

I have always been a bit of a WWI buff and consequently I was drawn to 1914 by their 2018 album, The Blind Leading the Blind. Their blackened death metal assault has been heavily beefed up by a production job that makes for an all-enveloping wall of sound and an auditorial overload that adds to the band's overarching theme of The Great War's debilitating and dehumanising effect on the men forced to participate in it's seemingly endless slaughter. The muscular riffs are heavy as fuck (check out the awesome death doom riff on The Green Fields of France) and the rhythm section do a great job of remorselessly driving the tracks along. Dmytro Kumar's vocals are powerful, lying somewhere between a death metal growl and a black metal shriek and the lyrics he enunciates are even more powerful still. From Vimy Ridge (In Memory of Filip Konowal) and Pillars of Fire (The Battle of Messines) with their common soldier's tales of slaughter that take no pride in victory only relief that it was they who lived and the enemy who died, through the balladic Coward (with vocals from Ukrainian folk singer Sasha Boole) and it's depiction of blind panic and summary justice for it's victim, to the poignant letter to the parent's of a lost artilleryman recited in ...And a Cross Now Marks His Place, these are lyrics that seem to authentically depict an horrendous period in human history and provide them with the gravitas they deserve. This is no stereotypical black metal glorification of war, but a sincere indictment of it.

The aforementioned ...And a Cross Now Marks His Place also features Paradise Lost's Nick Holmes who provides a few short but extremely effective vocal lines in what is an absolute beauty of a track and with it's accompanying video it may well be the song that propels 1914 to greater renown. This is as effective an anti-war song as I have ever heard. Anyway, I've had this album on almost constant rotation since the first listen and I've listened to other stuff, sure, but I keep coming back to this, so that must say something.

UnhinderedbyTalent UnhinderedbyTalent / November 20, 2021 / Comments 0 / 0

Death metal is one of my go to genres.  When combined with black metal it rarely takes on a form unbecoming to my battered eardrums.  One of the reasons why I like death metal so much is there is not any particular need to listen to the vocals in terms of deciphering them and understanding any deep lyrical content behind them.  Lyrics overall are of little interest to me in many ways although this does not mean I only like instrumental albums.  With dm, bm and thrash it is all about the expression for me.  It is fine for artist to write and sing about what they like of course but I do not need the details thanks.  With less extreme music the lyrics are more important as there is not always an obvious means of expression as an alternative.  I love the tales of the folk songs of bands like Panopticon, for example, however there is is even an element of cringe in some of the lyrics churned out in these circles sometimes also.  What I also do not react well to is over telling of a story through an album (or repeated overly obvious storytelling across various tracks in an album).  If you are going to engage in very forward recital of tales, myths or legends then make sure that all that is going on around it is enticing enough to enable maximum success.

1914 are very much an artist that I just do not understand the hype around.  If you like a good story I can definitely see the appeal but it is not like there is much of anything else going on to make their output that special.  Where Fear and Weapons Meet is an album full of tales of Word War I for the discerning fans who like a bit of history with their metal, but it is far too lyrically focused for my liking making me feel like I have to hear the stories as opposed to just enjoying the music.  The music just feels like a bit part player (even though the instrumentation is of a high standard).  The excerpts of historic radio (which sound created as opposed to utilising historic material) does not really influence the atmosphere for me.  The strong symphonic element to Corps D'autos-Canons-Mitrailleuses more than sets the scene without the intro being needed.  This is probably the strongest track on the whole album and does not rely on very audible themes or guest artists to drive the momentum.

If anything, I find WFaWM to be trying too hard to be authentic.  In comparison to Kanonenfieber's release from this year, 1914 come off as a very poor second place despite clearly being more accomplished musicians.  For an album themed on such a monumental human catastrophe it seems to like any real grit or heart.  More guttural gurns and less attention to detail please guys.


Release info

Release Site Rating

Ratings: 4 | Reviews: 2


Release Clan Rating

Ratings: 4 | Reviews: 2


Cover Site Rating

Ratings: 6


Cover Clan Rating

Ratings: 4

Where Fear and Weapons Meet
The Horde
The North

Death Metal (conventional)

Voted For: 2 | Against: 0

Black Metal (conventional)

Voted For: 2 | Against: 0