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1914: Where Fear and Weapons Meet

I’ve been excited about this band ever since 2018’s The Blind Leading the Blind, an album that I still think is both powerful and moving. There are other war-themed extreme metal bands out there, but I like the way this band reflects on the larger problem of war and the kinds of questions it raises. I also really like the way they include a grim reaper in all their cover art as a symbol of the way death stalks everyone on the battlefield.

On this album, the grim reaper still looms large (and there is plenty of death), but the band is also focusing on the soldiers who survived the war, even if their experiences were grave and terrible. Notice how the cover art represents this side of things by showing a soldier appealing to the reaper to take him away but Death just watches and waits.

For those unfamiliar with 1914, the band is a Ukrainian blackened death / doom metal band with some roots in sludge metal. Their music has always focused on WWI and their songwriting has always been interesting and ambitious. With this album, the band continues in the same way, but they are also clearly pushing themselves to try new things. The result is an intense and moving reflection on the origins of the war, on the prospects of losing a child, and on the shameful acts of a traitor. Throughout, the album draws on samples of war effects and, sometimes, on orchestral samples to give things a little more pitch and depth.

The album opens and closes with music from the period that. It also features an extended version of “The Green Fields of France” first played on the bagpipes and then played by the band in as dark and brutal a manner as possible. Another highlight is definitely include “. . . And a Cross Now Marks His Place,” a track that features Nick Holmes from Paradise Lost on vocals. The song is about a soldier killed in action and draws on text from the original letter informing his mother of the death. It’s a dark and brutal track and all the pieces work together very well. For something a bit softer, but no less intense, check out “Coward” and its story of a British traitor. The song also prominently features a banjo playing chords with a distinctive but sad snap.

There is so much to experience here that I just recommend sitting down with the album and following its twists and turns from start to finish. 1914 is an excellent band with a very bright future.

Track Listing:
1. War In
2. FN .380 ACP#19074
3. Vimy Ridge (In Memory of Filip Konowal)
4. Pillars of Fire (The Battle of Messines)
5. Don’t Tread on Me (Harlem Hellfighters)
6. Coward (feat. Sasha Boole)
7. . . .And a Cross Now Marks His Place (feat. Nick Holmes)
8. Corps d’autos-canons-mitrailleuses (A.C.M)
9. Mit Gott für König und Vaterland
10. The Green Fields of France
11. War Out

Added: January 21st 2022
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Label Page
Hits: 479
Language: english

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