Krieg – Transient (2014) – New Jersey black metallers Krieg are at it again with their first full-length in four years (even though they have released more than enough splits and EP’s to more than make up for the absence), which sees the band’s style moving into a cold, industrial landscape that reaches its apex during the very last two segments of the disc. I don’t know if listeners are prepared, or will even be acceptive of the electronic atmospheres and spoken word vocals of “Home 7:37” but to be fair, these electronics were hinted at on the disc’s opener, “Order Of The Solitary Road 5:43” so you should have known they were coming. The rest of the record also seems to play around with electronic influence, but not quite so much as it unleashes a sort of post-black onslaught, which brings images of a post-apocalyptic future, where Orwell’s books may have well been prophetic. At this stage, Krieg literally sound like a mix of mid-era Satyricon, Mayhem and Cult Of Luna. Online listeners seem to tie them in with Leviathan, Nachtmystium and Twilight among others, but I certainly see those resemblances echoed throughout this album. It almost seems as if we Americans came up with this rustic industrial post black metal dipped in sludge, as every one of those bands I’ve named also has tampered with it at one point in their careers. Krieg still sounds like a black metal act in theory, but might contain a little too much of certain punk and post metal styles to turn off the traditional fanatics. But that seems to be the point, as I think these guys were looking to mix all of their influences into one black metal pot; creating a new school that leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the elitist, which is the exact same thing for Pallbearer and lovers of traditional doom. Some people just can’t get into this new style of sound, because it doesn’t resemble what they grew up with or have been accustomed to. But if you take in Transient as a whole you will find a solid record in this exercise in black metal experimentalism, which will make this post-modern sound a bit more appealing. Each track on the record takes a slightly different approach in the same style, showing a band that isn’t afraid to have some balls and do something that’s a little left of field from the myriads of other corpse paint-by-numbers black metal acts. Krieg is the kind of gateway drug that punks, hardcore fans and post metal nuts can get into and it serves up a healthy serving of black metal while indulging in each of these foreign territories. Black metal is certainly branching out in the United States and Krieg is definitely proof of that.
(11 Tracks, 57:00)