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1914 - Where Fear And Weapons Meet review

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Band: 1914
Album: Where Fear And Weapons Meet
Release date: October 2021

01. War In
02. FN .380 ACP#19074
03. Vimy Ridge (In Memory Of Filip Konowal)
04. Pillars Of Fire (The Battle Of Messines)
05. Don't Tread On Me (Harlem Hellfighters)
06. Coward [feat. Sasha Boole]
07. ...And A Cross Now Marks His Place [feat. Nick Holmes]
08. Corps D'Autos-Canons-Mitrailleuses (A.C.M)
09. Mit Gott Für König Und Vaterland
10. The Green Fields Of France (No Man's Land) [Eric Bogle cover]
11. War Out

When you’re a heavily World War I-themed band, it’s hard to top releasing a record on the centenary anniversary of the Armistice. Thankfully, even after the gimmick has peaked, 1914 have more left in the locker musically.

1914’s sophomore, The Blind Leading The Blind, was clearly intended as a breakthrough statement, given the date of its release, but they backed up the attention-grabbing circumstances of its release with an emphatic blend of black- and doom-infused death metal in order to capitalize on these circumstances. The Blind Leading The Blind was something of an underground hit, so there’s now some actual anticipation for Where Fear And Weapons Meet, on which 1914 effectively consolidate the sound that they already established.

Anyone who liked The Blind Leading The Blind should at least somewhat enjoy Where Fear And Weapons Meet, as various aspects of that record are carried over to here. This ranges from the core sound, namely predominantly mid-tempo death metal riffs in the vein of Bolt Thrower accentuated with bursts of black and/or death metal aggression, through to the use of songs and samples from around that time period. For examples of these, you can see the tracks bookending the record; “War In” features a crackling recording of Serbian song “Tamo Daleko”, whereas “War Out” closes out Where Fear And Weapons Meet with a similarly old-timey rendition of the American anti-war song “I Didn’t Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier”. Even the names of these songs are carry-overs from The Blind Leading The Blind, which also opened and closed with a different “War In”/”War Out” pairing.

So, much of what is featured on this record will be expected from previous listeners of the band. If you’re looking for a doomy mid-tempo trudge of a song, see “Vimy Ridge (In Memory Of Filip Konowal)”; if instead you’re searching for some more blackened fury, the explosive opening riff of “Don’t Tread On Me (Harlem Hellfighters)” is one of the strongest moments of the record. These songs, just like those on the last record, are on the longer side, with most of the ‘main’ tracks passing the 7-minute mark, so there’s room to fluctuate between styles within songs, which 1914 again do well.

However, there are a few relative surprises to be found here. The first can be found early on with “FN .380 ACP#19074”; the soundscape of this song, a fiercely melancholic piece, is elevated by the use of synths resembling brass and string orchestral arrangements. It’s a really powerful combination, with the direct emotional force of the metal accentuated by the synth accompaniments; “FN .380 ACP#19074” does a great job of making listeners immediately excited for the rest of the record, even though these synths are only used sparingly afterwards. For me, “FN .380 ACP#19074” is a cut above the rest of the tracklist here; there’s something about the burning passion felt within the song that allows it to resonate in a way that the subsequent songs can’t quite match.

One other novelty that you might already have noticed is the inclusion of a couple of guest vocalists near the middle of the album. “Coward” is the less conventional of these two, a stripped-down acoustic folk ditty over which Ukrainian folk singer Sasha Boole decries the hellish conditions of the Western front. The more famous guest is Nick Holmes of Paradise Lost fame, who makes a clean vocal appearance midway through “…And A Cross Now Marks His Place”; this gothic-tinged mid-song dirge doesn’t quite click for me, but it’s good to see 1914 attempting different ways in which to expand their sonic palette.

Where Fear And Weapons Meet doesn’t quite match The Blind Leading The Blind for me; “FN .380 ACP#19074” and “Don’t Tread On Me (Harlem Hellfighters)” are exciting early highlights, but the album as a whole doesn’t quite have the same insidious pull across the whole record as its predecessor. Still, there’s not many bands out there that sound much like 1914, so even if they’re not setting the world on fire here, it’s a strong enough record to sustain the hype the band managed to generate last time around.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 8

Written on 22.10.2021 by Hey chief let's talk why not


Comments: 5   Visited by: 227 users
22.10.2021 - 10:00
Cynic Metalhead
Nasha Vich Paisa
Freakin' sweet.

I missed the release and your review has certainly captured me.

Will go down in my checklist.
22.10.2021 - 10:13
I agree with you, I also prefer The Blind Leading The Blind, although I have not listened to this one enough times; only 3 plays so far. The album is super strong and peaks for me with "...And A Cross Now Marks His Place", which is probably my favourite track. But it then feels like it is petering out and I am finding myself losing focus and thinking that it is going on for too long, which is never a good sign. That said, I like the album, I love the theme and what they are doing with it, and I will play it quite a bit, which means that I will probably like it a bit more in the end. I believe there is a lot here to uncover and it will grow on me for sure. But I wasn't instantly wowed like I was with its predecessor.
22.10.2021 - 21:40
The Ancient One

Love the fact they have a track for the Harlem Hellfighters. That is great.
get the fuck off my lawn.

Beer Bug Virus Spotify Playlist crafted by Nikarg and I. Feel free to tune in and add some pertinent metal tunes!
22.10.2021 - 22:57
i c deaf people
Funny that you mentioned "FN .380 ACP#19074" several times, because it's exactly that one track that had caught my attention before I even heard it for the first time. And that's because of its title and the historical inaccuracy within.
Because absolutely no one in the Old World would have said in 1914 that the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was assassinated by a FN Model 1910 in caliber .380 ACP. Instead, a contemporary witness would have said that Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the Duchess of Hohenberg were killed by two 9mm Browning Short projectiles.
Yeah, now I'm sounding like a pedantic smartass, I know. But if you're going to put that much emphasis on your WWI knowledge, you might as well think it through right down to the last detail.

However, sorry for hijacking your review.
What I really wanted to say is that I was very curious to hear your personal and well-founded opinion on the new album, and I got exactly what I was looking for: a different point of view. For I believe that the slightly increased usage of synths and orchestral arrangements suits the sound and theme of 1914 very well, and therefore I can't even say at the moment if I really find the predecessor significantly more awesome. In my opinion, both albums are pretty great in their own way.
signatures = SPAM
23.10.2021 - 16:47

Ukraine is the champion!
This music is better than sex!

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