Attention, Minenwerfer is back.
Formed in the United States in 2007, the band led by Generalfeldmarschall Kriegshammer (vocals/bass, Vermineux, ex-Chronaexus) and Wachtmeister Verwüstung (guitar/drums, ex-Chronaexus) takes a break between 2014 and 2016, then continues its releases. In 2023, the band signed with Osmose Productions and announced the release of Feuerwalze, their fourth album, which takes us to the Battle of the Somme, in 1917.
Cemetery Fields, the first track, immediately takes us to the conflict’s center with its introductory slaughter, followed by frantic riffs, martial drums and visceral screams. Nothing seems to stop the onslaught that lets ripping leads join the wave of raw strength before letting the sound slowly fade away followed by Feuerwalze, the eponymous track, which offers catchy patterns skillfully combined with the grimy Old School mix and the abrasive speed. A vocal sample tempers the storm, but musicians quickly return to the path of violence before letting Eternal Attrition choke us with dissonant sounds. Catchy riffs will surface before blast comes back to take its place under fierce and dissonant leads, creating a chaotic ambience in which the vocalist will go wild, while Nachtschreck is strangely more melancholic and melodic. After its introductive sample, the sound wraps us in a curtain of haunting sounds which will become increasingly dense with the arrival of the blast, until it breaks after a long solo. The track starts again in its heady sounds, then lets Sturmtruppen III (Sommekämpfer) trample us with all its rage and strength. The band adds again heady melodies to their rough, pounding strikes before a final sample leads the way to Shrapnel Exsanguination, a composition that occasionally lets some groovy sounds mingle with the sharp riffs and heavy dissonance the band develops between two devastating parts. After a tortured solo, the band launches Labyrinthine Trench Sectors, the last track, which closes this album with a contrasted mix between raw violence, heady melodies and more dissonant parts, followed by a long and disturbing sample.
With this history lesson in music, Minenwerfer offers violence, melancholy and oppression under a raw mix, which makes Feuerwalze a very rich album, but only for the hardened listeners.