posted on 1/2009 By:
Stormlegion is the debut album from Chicago’s Kommandant. The band features in its ranks one time Cianide guitarist Jim Bresnahan. However, Kommandant’s music bears little resemblance to Cianide’s trudging doom/death. Instead, Kommandant play a relentless black/thrash amalgamation that sounds like a cross between Marduk and Destroyer666. Unfortunately, Kommandant tend to favor the punishing monotony of the former rather than the martial majesty of the later.
Kommandant’s one dimensional riffing style consists of simple tremolo picked melodies and sliding power chords, the majority of which seem to hover around the same mid-ranged tonal center. Combine this with some blast beat-heavy drumming and raspy vocals and you have a sound that has been beaten so deep into the ground, its only neighbors are At the Gates rip-offs. The band does vary the tempo on occasion, but their style is so stiff that they scarcely approach anything that could legitimately be called a groove. Some flashy lead guitar or a catchy vocal hook could wrest some memorability from this maelstrom of repetition, but, alas, there is none of either to be had. The band puts the pedal to the metal from the start and does not let up until the somber death march of closing track, "The Aftermath."
Despite uninspiring songwriting, Kommandant manage to present their sound effectively: The production is cold and grim, matching the military precision of the band's attack and vocalist Nick Henandez’s savage, tuneless snarl is the perfect vehicle for the band's bellicose lyrical imagery. With every slashing note and iron-fisted beat, the band seems to say, “Expect no mercy.”
If you count Panzer Division Marduk among your favorite records, Kommandant’s sonic blitzkrieg will likely appeal to you, but those who favor dynamics and diversity in their music should not seek it in Stormlegion.
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