Eastern Front

Blood On Snow

Written by: EW on 11/11/2010 22:18:33

I wouldn't be willing to describe it as anything greater than coincidence but recent times has seen a few bands dotted across the extreme metal landscape delve into the deep history of war as a primary lyrical subject, which when one thinks about it is a perfect fit to the all-out assault music of this type tends to be - uncompromising sonically, uncompromising lyrically. From the name down British black metallers Eastern Front are fixated with one particular theatre of war of World War II, a chapter of history I personally too possess insatiable interest in for the carnage and suffering seen between the opposing Soviet and German forces was (and still is) so unparalleled in brutality I feel everyone should know what lengths previous generations went to in fighting for against a unified enemy. Given the date of writing is also Armistice Day it feels appropriate I should bring this matter to the fore for your attention.

Naturally, making head or tail of what Eastern Front are shrieking about is impossible sans lyric sheet but with song titles like "Battle of Smolensk", "Unleash the Panzer Division" and "At the Gates of Moscow" it is hopefully safe to assume their interest is fixated on the military, rather than political, actions and consequences of the conflict. Like many themes undertaken by bands musical references tend to be undertaken merely in interludes (unlike Bolt Thrower, whose military obsession seems out of every single riff), as opener "Stalinorgel" crashing into life with the recognisable sound of Soviet artillery fire (at least to "World At War" devotees like myself) and "Unleash the Panzer Division" emerging with the sounds of Germans tank commanders unleashing...well you can probably guess. The other 98% of "Blood on Snow" is a fairly modern form of powerful BM-blast making up in spiteful contempt what it lacks in variation or dramatic depth. "Dvenadtzat Kilometrov Ot Moskvy" aside, which is essentially a recognition of the Soviet determination for victory, the remaining songs blast along with the blunted aggression typical of a band at debut album stage. "At the Gates..." and "Motherland" both have their moments with competent riffs sandwiched amongst passages of BM mediocrity while "Blood on Snow" shows Eastern Front to be more than a mere Scandinavian clone, albeit with the use of muscular DM strength rather than any technically accomplished diversions off the beaten track.

You may be wondering why the middle-level grade following all this but in the last few years offshoots of BM have grown into remote wildernesses capable of the utmost glory and reflection and on this basis Eastern Front have much still to work towards. Despite their conviction and obvious passion the modern production and lack of humane warmth to the recording leaves my fellow Londoners short of bowling me over, yet as a listener and reviewer its nice to hear a straight-up BM band not proclaiming to be Satanists for a change, which has gotta be worth something right?


Download: At the Gates of Moscow, Blood on Snow
For the fans of: Mayhem, Antaeus
Listen: Myspace

Release date 13.09.2010
Candlelight Records

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