Taste Our German Steel!
Review by Felix on June 3, 2019.
During the years 1983 - 1985, any form of extreme metal crawled out of its musty bunkers, its cobwebbed caves and clammy holes in the ground in order to shock the brave Teutonic society with its ugly face. Sodom were the most prominent representative of black metal, but early Holy Moses called their style black metal as well and Iron Angel started with a combination of black and thrash Metal. Not to mention the cult formation Poison that failed to release a regular album, but "Sphynx", the opener of their "Into the Abyss" demo, is an essential track for every fan of the genre. Almost any subsequent band has built its sound house on the fundament that the music of these pioneers had delivered.
Moonblood do not mark an exception. Their raw approach hails the old school, the German as well as the Norwegian. The duo from Saxony has inhaled the spirit of reckless black metal. The two musicians do not derive their song formulas from the more enigmatic Greek scene (remember Varathron, early Rotting Christ or Nightfall) and the protagonists of the progressive French community were still drinking the milk of their mothers' breasts at the time of the release of Taste Our German Steel!. Having said this, the Saxon dudes just raise hell while exhibiting their type of icy leads, restless drumming and grim vocals. "Sarg & Tod (Part II)", for example, bundles these elements in a very exciting manner. Don't talk about innovation and all this nonsense. Black metal was once a revolution, but since the mid-nineties, we have to recognize that it has become a very conservative style. Its purpose is to keep the flame burning and not to sail out for discovering new shores. If you do not believe me, listen to the last works of Dimmu Borgir (symphonic chirping), Enslaved (progressive mishmash) or Gehenna (stupid death metal) and try to prevent nausea and vomiting. But don't blame me, if you are not successful in doing so! In other words, any evolution of black metal is its perversion at the same time.
Moonblood are aware of this fact. Consequently, they spit in the face of any kind of experiment. Generic black metal always had the potential to break directly through the lines of its enemies. The minimalist guitar leads, the rather discreet breaks and the absence of untypical elements make clear that the permanently grim Germans are either musically limited or appropriately self-confident. I tend to the latter, although I must admit that these options are not mutually exclusive. Anyway, technical skills are no value in itself and I do not miss egocentric guitar solos, because one thing is for sure: the here presented album kicks asses and deserves wide distribution. It has much in common with Eternity's fantastic "Funeral Mass" from 2007. The density, the brutality and the narrow-mindedness of the sound shape a very intensive work. And I may not forget to add another remarkable advantage. The formation is able to deliver high quality tracks from the beginning to the end. While a lot of other albums have problems to keep the quality of the first songs, Moonblood celebrate permanent destruction. This is, and we all know it due to some bad experiences, no matter of course.
Hi-fi fetishists who think about committing suicide will kill themselves as soon as they have heard the first tones of Taste Our German Steel!. It does not sound clean, it does not have ups and downs and it does not present boat loads of technology. Yet it spreads the ideology of the underground without making many words and that's exactly what I like. The band sticks to its guns while acting with dedication. Better still, the mix is neither blurred nor powerless. As a result, the music shines in full glory. It does not really have a mesmerizing effect, but the omnipresent violence leaves its mark sustainably and generates a stormy overall picture. Unfortunately, Moonblood do not exist anymore, but the spirit of this music lives on. New misanthropic artists show up permanently. Their number is comparable with that of merchandise issues of Kiss. And, to add another similarity with the Kiss gimmicks, their number grows daily. Anyway, let's close the cycle and come back to the beginning of this review. Moonblood take roughly the path through the wasteland of terror that Sodom and other pioneers walked first back in the mid-eighties. It is amazing to see that this kind of music has survived and perhaps it is time to reveal a secret. Thirty years ago, I did not have a clue that I was living in such influential times.
Rating: 8 out of 10