Kommandant – The Architects of Extermination

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label: ATMF Records
Released: 2015
Buy Album [URL]http://eshop.atmf.net/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=35358
Band Website: http://www.kommandant.us/

Kommandant

Tracklist

1. Let Our Vengeance Rise
2. The Architects Of Extermination
3. Oedipism
4. Acquisition of Power
5. Killing Word
6. And Nation Shall Rise Against Nation
7. Rise And Fall Of Empire
8. Onward To Extinction

Review

Rising again to spill their profane message onto the world, American based Kommandant have returned this year with their third studio album, The Architects of Extermination. The first and perhaps most striking impression of the band is their image. The band lean heavily on imagery often associated with National Socialism, also taking their naming from words strongly associated with the movement. As the debates over how to react to bands with such ideals continues to rage among music fans, the band may feel they have little reason to explain themselves stating they are leaving it open to interpretation, neither accepting nor denying the accusation.

However their fling with such provocative imagery is as appropriate as entering the US in an ‘It’s 9/11 somewhere’ shirt. While it may be they simply want to appropriate and explore some of the issues surrounding the movement, as bands such as Laibach continue to do, their insistence that people should be able to interpret it exactly as intended without guidance is not only misguided, but utterly insensitive.

Whether you believe their message to be national socialist or just a reflection on life, history and war aside however, their music has a distinct sound that effortlessly captures the sound of chaos. Their music certainly reflect the militaristic image as their drums pound to a marching pace as the guitars drone on, with even the tremolo riffs pouring into a long ominous sound. As the instruments clatter in the background, the vocals roll over them in a long slow rumble adding an additional layer of menace to the sound. The strength in their sound is not in the melody, or the often-revered riff but in the rhythmic quality of all the instruments and the textures each layer creates when combined with the others. As the album continues the sound does begin to get repetitive and the songs blend into a rolling mass of ominous pounding.

As the album closes, there is a sense of disappointment, as the ever-present threat never materialises into any kind of climax. The carefully crafted passage through the album feels oddly incomplete as the final notes draw to a close. However you feel about the bands imagery, The Architects of Extermination is a powerful album that has all the strength of a tank on its way to battle, but end not in glory but trapped in the mud.

Review by Caitlin Smith
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