The Punk Vault

Krieg – The Isolationist

An excellent album of black metal that isn’t afraid to get experimental, resulting in a very interesting collection of songs that really shine.
Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Krieg – The Isolationist
Candlelight Records

Krieg is a black metal band that has been around since the mid 1990s and this is the band’s sixth full-length album.  The Isolationist features 11 songs of very intense and lengthy songs. Many of the songs are hyper-aggressive and feature rapid fire drums and speedy guitar riffs. There’s plenty of room for experimentation though as the band will throw in tempo changes in some of their songs and even slow down the pace in a few of them that are borderline melodic but no less evil sounding. The vocals are raspy growls that sound dry and intimidating and are among the stronger vocal sounds of the genre.

While the fast songs are superb, the band really starts to shine in the more experimental numbers which gives The Isolationist a bit more depth than your typical black metal album. “Depakote” starts out with a backwards-masked drum riff that sounds like it was lifted from Public Image Ltd’s “Four Enclosed Walls” and creates this really creepy five-minute ambient intro before bursting into a fast paced frenzy of grinding riffs and intense vocals. “Religion III” is a short ambient instrumental song that shows promise of the band branching out to incorporate some additional styles to their repertoire. “Inhalation Decays”, as well as “…and the Stars Fell On” are mid-tempo with the latter being downright melodic (still with the trademark vocal sounds) and one of the strongest tracks on the album. The variety amongst the songs keeps the entire album interesting from start to finish and makes it stand out among the sea of similar metal bands.

Krieg shows a ton of promise for an interesting future with The Isolationist and it stands as one of the strongest black metal albums of the year without question. This is definitely a band worth seeking out.

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