Sound — 9
Black Metal ist Krieg is a compilation of various Nargaroth demo recordings and other unreleased material which Kanwulf recorded throughout the '90s and a compilation of carefully chosen covers. Nargaroth is a one-man German black metal band run by Kanwulf. The album was released in 2001, in a time where a lot of the "old school" black metal bands began experimenting with various different styles and approaches to black metal and this album really shook the ground in black metal scene. It was the returning to the roots of black metal with the raw, dark and cold sound which was painfully missing at the time. The production and sound quality are mediocore, but Kanwulf didn't turn to the traditional raw ("crappy") black metal sound, because honestly this record doesn't even need it. It achieves an extremely dark and cold sound with the traditional noisy guitar effects and simplified drumming. All string instruments were done by Kanwulf while some tracks' drums were played by various other musicians. The opening to the album is a melodic, electronic track in the style of late works of Burzum. The album gets a 360 turn at the second track with the sound blasting through the speakers as Black Metal Ist Krieg begins playing. This album has everything a black metal fan would want to; from the raw old school black metal in the style of Darkthrone (Possesed By Black F--king Metal, Gates Of Eternity) to the more slow emotional songs (Seven Tears Are Flowing To The River, Amarok - Zorn Des Lames III). The album actually feels a lot like a mixture of the great old school black metal combined with the modern times. Various covers appear on the album from relatively unkown bands, such as Pisen Pro Satana by Root and I Burn for You by Lord Foul as well as the controversial track entitled The Day Burzum Killed Mayhem which is sure to spark a lot of heat betweeen Burzum/Mayhem fans. I can't think of any big downsides about the album, the only thing that isn't in pair with the rest of the tracks seems to be the Lord Foul cover I Burn for You which seems to lack creativity and maybe even the track Seven Tears are Flowing to the River which seems to be purposely over stretched at its nearly 15 minutes.
Lyrics — 8
At times lyrics are the traditional black metal dark, negative feelings with a lot of energy, but there are also more personal, more emotional lyrics such as on the track Erik, May You Rape the Angels which speaks about Kanwulf's best friend Grim who commited suicide (was an Immortal member for some short period) and also very emotional songs like Seven Tears are Flowing to the River and Amarok - Zorn Des Lames III. Most of the Lyrics are in English, but there are also German and Czech lyrics that appear through some songs. Kanwulf's dark, grim voice is literally tearring through the speakers and I dare to go even as far to declare Kanwulf the best black metal singer to date. He does a remarkably good job at singing in Czech which I doubt many Germans can do. Although some lyrics aren't as good or creative as maybe some of the Burzum works, the singing is just so good it will outweight them too many times.
Overall Impression — 10
Black Metal Ist Krieg is a newly born black metal classic and an instant hit at the same time. No one would have even thought that black metal of this quality could be made at this time and it's not even from Norway. This album has already written itself into the history between the classics such as Under a Funeral Moon, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas and Burzum. This truly is a new classic and I encourage every black metal fan to buy it. If you are into fast paced, "to the max" black metal you won't be dissapointed. But if you are into a more slower, melancholic type of black metal there's also a lot for you in this release. There is not a track on this album which you'd want to skip, every track has its own personality. Truly a masterpiece.