For some, sitting in one sonic territory simply isn’t good enough. Some take many years to make the transition to something different for some reason or another, but some manage to make every album something different. Given what was laid forth in 2019’s widely acclaimed “Alpenpässe”, I don’t think it was a stretch of the imagination for many of us to think that Minenwerfer would double down on what they brought to the table from that release. Instead, this act sought to go in the complete opposite direction with their newest effort a blistering storm of black metal that is nigh-on fitting for the chaotic trench warfare that is the backdrop to this harrowing album.
A dramatic shift like what we’re given here is of the sort that can feel like the very definition of jarring if it wasn’t a fitting move for the likes of the band in question. In every scenario, Minenwerfer fits the bill to make such a change work almost too well. After an expansive album that is delivered on every front, the visceral rip to material that’s far faster with a heinous aura that permeates every given moment of the material is one that you can feel in your very bones. “Feuerwalze” isn’t just a mere shake-up from Minenwerfer’s reputation in the last few years as it continues the band’s tradition of finding themselves entrenched in the horrors of World War I with this record, in particular, finding itself deep within the chaos of the infamous Somme Offensive with the music here fittingly matching the hell of those twenty weeks of mud, rats, bullets, dead, and howls of the training fire and the men who set it upon the enemy. Exceedingly claustrophic and the soundtrack to what many would consider the apocalypse in more ways than one, “Feuerwalze” effortlessly achieves its goal of absolute madness. Many dare to try to bring to life the terror of war with their music, but it’s in the unbridled, near-cannibalistic nature of the black metal at hand here that Minenwerfer yet again captures the essence of the battlefield to an undeniable degree. As the speed whips the listener back and forth with each explosion racking the soul, the manic tendencies enabling the seven tracks to become a terrifying beast out for blood, the technical leanings of the “Feuerwalze” make for a terrifying visage from all angles, and the very power of Minenwerfer lends to the true sound of total war, the very horrors of the Somme take on new life with “Feuerwalze” summoning those horrors with seemingly minimal effort.
War has never been lacking in representation whatsoever in the world of metal with it being a favorite topic of many for decades now, yet the chaos of blood-soaked earth and scorched bone still finds ways to make for tremendous works the likes of which bands such as Minenwerfer seem all but made for. This is black metal at some of its most ill-intentioned with “Feuerwalze” of the most horrifying material that Minenwerfer has brought forward to date with all that’s been delivered here nothing meant for those not willing to suffer.
“Feuerwalze” releases on March 10th via Osmose Productions!
PRE-ORDER “Feuerwalze” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Minenwerfer on Facebook here.