Koen S. : It just keeps getting weirder and weirder. An Ukrainian black/doom/death metal band that gets its inspiration from the first World War and sings about battles in Belgium and France with English lyrics using a German or French song title from time to time. 1914 does it all on their new album 'The Blind Leading The Blind'. 1914’s existence is an homage to all that fell fighting the Great War and the release of the album coincided with Armistice Day, 100 years since the end of World War I.
The intro is a merry tune of a record of that time, but from ‘Arrival. The Meuse-Argonne’ on we get a ferocious death metal attack, spiced with black metal hand grenades and razor-sharp bayonets. Of course Bolt Thrower is never far away in this kind of lumbering death metal, but this battalion brings everything in a more sophisticated way and with a more eerie atmosphere. 2.Division, Infanterie-Regiment Nr.147, Oberleutnant – Ditmar Kumar – I can’t help it either - has a intelligible growl and explains the horrors in the trenches at the time in detail. The bass is high in the mix and that is just the way to go if you want to put down this heavy sound. The slower sections give you a false sense of security, because those are the parts that will tear you apart. ‘Beat The Bastards’ is a nicely done cover of The Exploited, but why the song is in the middle of the album is beyond me. Just put it behind your war story as a bonus song!
‘Passchenhell' is, together with 'Arrival. The Meuse-Argonne' and 'The Hundred Days Offensive' one of the highlights and it is also a nice reference to Passchendaele (internationally known as Passchendaele) the Flemish village where heavy battles took place and which God Dethroned also used as inspiration for their album 'Passiondale (Passchendaele)'. As a bonus there is this guest appearance by Dave Ingram, ex-vocalist of those other war machines Bolt Thrower and Hail Of Bullets. Each death metal fan can purchase this one hour adventure blindly.