1914 are a death metal band from the Ukraine that have been around since 2014 and it’ll come as no surprise that a band named 1914 like to write songs about the Great War. What kind of songs? Fucking good ones!
Like the much missed Dutch war machine Hail Of Bullets, 1914 don’t put a political slant on their songs, rather they’re more like a death metal history lesson and obviously all the better for the lack of preachy bullshit.
Lyrical themes covered on this record include the Battle of Gallipoli, the Battle of Verdun, the gas attack at Ypres, the Christmas truce and the bombing of London by German Zeppelins amongst many others. Musically they are what I’d describe as death metal with a blackened edge and genuinely have their own sound and identity which shines through straightaway, immediately setting them apart from the herd. Vocalist Ditmar Kumar has a cracking raspy growl that reminds me of Mortuus from that there Marduk in parts. The guitar squadron of Liam Fessen and Vitalis Winkelhock are amazing, whether they’re chugging along with a brutal riff or breaking off into a dive-bombing solo these lads mean business. The production is crisp and every note played can be heard nice and clearly. Nice work. The band employ a liberal amount of period sound effects to assist with the atmosphere of incoming dread too, whether they be the sounds of soldiers marching songs, radio broadcasts, thunder storms or bagpipes (yes…..I said bagpipes).
There’s a couple of Brucie Bonuses here too
1 – guest vocalist on the track “Passchenhell” is none other than death metal legend and all round top chap, David Ingram, (Benediction, Bolt Thrower, Just Before Dawn, Ursinne, Down Among the Dead Men) whose undgodly bellow contrasts nicely with Ditmar’s vocals.
2 – a tasty cover of The Exploited’s “Beat The Bastards”
I loved this album and I can’t see it not being in my top ten of the year come December. Thoroughly recommended.
(9/10 Mark Eve)