The styles of Black Metal contained on this release are somewhat different and seemingly strange when placed together. The opening track, "Nachtwachen Im Stahlwerk," is of a similar direction to the basic and formulaic approach adopted by most MARDUK material. In essence this is the eschewing emotion in favour of impact. However, while I have been known to criticise MARDUK for their unambitious approach, they remain one of the strongest players in the game by doing this overt, war-themed simplicity better than the rest. Better, indeed, than BLUTMOND whose use of this style is decidedly average and much too slow to bludgeon.
Seemingly in response, the following tracks incorporate shifting moods, while still drawing their rhythms from the same riff pool. The melody comes in clean sections, despairing arpeggios and in simple, Swedish sounding leads. There is an almost GEASA-like sound to certain sections as well as comparisons that can be unfavourably drawn with EMPERORís second opus (without the keyboards).
The problem is that when you donít show much proficiency in simplistic aggression, nor in more ambitious moody passages, both tend to hold up to the light for inspection, showing clearly every hairline scratch and imperfection. The fact that they have major cracks, never mind hairline scratches, severely adds to the overall mediocrity of the disc.
Such obvious cherry picking from popular, yet stylistically separate Black Metal bands has led to a poorly blended style. Nothing here is their own and nothing here stands out as being particularly good. Quite simply, poorly written, left over and filler DARKTHRONE, MARDUK and EMPEROR riffs do not make a cohesive or impressive style Ė especially when stretched out for two songs too long.
(Online April 30, 2007)