Reviewed: December 2010
Released: 2010, Candlelight Records
Grim by name, grim by design, New Jersey\’s Krieg have been peddling their lo-fi wares for over a decade now, briefly calling it quits in 2006 only to make a comeback two years later. Predictably, there were those whose tears of joy streaked their otherwise immaculate black metal make-up, while others were left to wonder what the big fucking deal is.
THE ISOLATIONIST is unlikely to narrow this rift anytime soon. Still as stubbornly necro as ever, Krieg deliver every note on their sixth full length with the fuzzed-up antiquity of a band who have never been made aware of some of the fantastic advancements that have occurred in audio engineering since the 1970s. Given their chosen style, this shouldn\’t necessarily be a problem; others have used such methods to their advantage, heightening their music\’s sinister mood tenfold. In this case it merely serves to highlight Krieg\’s shortcomings. Propelling virtually every one of its eleven songs forward at either a droning or blasting pace, THE ISOLATIONIST is sorely lacking in dynamics and, by extension, the sort of depth that will keep you coming back for more.
The likes of \”Ambergeist\” and the industrial-tinged interlude of \”Religion III\” suggest that there\’s a potentially terrific band hidden underneath all the primitive posturing. But given that my thoughts on their previous record rang fairly similar to this one, I\’d confidently submit that they\’re a little too long in the tooth now to hasten any sweeping surge in quality in the foreseeable future. THE ISOLATIONIST is mediocrity dressed up as sonic extremity for intellectuals.
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