MetalBite Review by Alex on 12/28/2018 10:21:45 AM
And the beast came with the snow storm and he entered the cottage and saw that there was life, a pulse of warm blood and pounding heartbeat. Yellow Cross lacerates from the rotten temple of Caligari Records. Hungry and vile in nature, this unmoved monster startles the listener with ease.
What was so special about the 2 demo tapes preceding Yellow Cross is their raw nature respectably playing in the vein of the old school while managing to make the music sound even more rotten that it used to be. This was achieved through an unpolished production, a vocalist that sounded like he could gulp down the waters of every ocean in one stretch of his jaws and guitar work that echoed of rhythm and freight. Though simple the drum-work, it was played with commitment and conviction on both entries. Here in 2018, Kriegszittern have now lit flame to the wick of a cannon loaded with the remnants of old war, horror and butchery. By improving the sound of the tracks recorded on their first two demos and adding a few new entries, the band has established a moderately refined feeling to their craft. The gaping growls and howls of Eddi return, Stef’s riff-work on the new tracks is more furious and relentless than ever, whilst the Fapp+Faxe bass and drum combo delivers a memorable hammering in thrashing, mid-paced and doom sections. The atmosphere is an aspect that Kriegszittern has never faltered at; with the primitive style of their playing (no triggers etc.) managing to erect the feelings of old, it must be noted that the lyrics to the themes explored are matched with exigence and a high amount coherence and consistency. Listening to the music makes you want to purchase and view the films due to how well Kriegszittern manages to exploit the aura they have created.
Apart from a switch in production quality, there have been some noticeable changes in the structure of songs found on the original demos and split with Minenfeld. Eg, “Green Hell” has changed from a 2:43 length song to almost 6 minutes due to the addition of a few new guitar riffs and an elaborated guitar lead. The doom metal section has been wiped and is replaced by a mid-paced chugging. There also seems to be a string of new lyrics added to the recording. This and other surprises can be found on the new renditions of prior efforts. Kriegszittern’s performance on Yellow Cross is authentic though flirting with the old school death metal approach. This is so due to the fact the unit can be identified amongst the masses giving respect to old days of the genre. Many bands tend to sound like a Death cover group in their attempts. Kriegszittern on the other hand seems as though they have existed within the scene since the late 80’s with a formula and sound that sets itself apart from the others.
Though the ugly production is toned-down, the organic presence of Kriegszittern’s playing still strikes the listener throughout the run-time of Yellow Cross. I would have preferred the production to be similar to that of the Frostbite demo; however, it still works out to the advantage of the band, as now there is a bit more control placed on the music in terms of the mix. The guitars have been lowered a bit along with the distortion, thus giving the vocals more audible dominance, as it was still the case on the demo material despite the high guitar mix and the crusty distortion, just goes to show how much of a monster Eddi is. But more notably this effect has made the music more emotional in its attempt to convey the character’s feelings through the lyrical content. The newer songs are worthy additions, they carry with them the same sonic and lyrical antipathy and despair of the stories told on prior releases. Pieces like the opening “Stormcaller” and the following “Minefield”, suggest urgency and hopelessness through meticulous synthesis of vocal and instrumental differences. The cover of Benediction’s “Artefacted Irreligion” is very good, Kriegszittern sounds like they wanted to own that song. It’s quite a good example of what happens when dedication meets the capabilities of modern technology. Yellow Cross is an outstanding release, though 1 or 2 more newer tracks would have been good to hear, what Kriegszitter’s has offered as musicians, leaves no doubt that whatever is planned for the future will be of the highest quality they can achieve as an organized unit.
- "Yellow Cross"
- "Green Hell"
Rating: 8.7 out of 10