Anyone who names their band after the German word for ‘war’ makes it perfectly clear what they intend, swiping any preconceptions that we should anticipate this to be a light-hearted cheer-fest. For Krieg that exacts the perfect warning. After 15 years in activity, The Isolationist shows Krieg to garner a traditional sound with the black rawness of a coal sponge.
Leader of this one man band for 15 years now, Lord Imperial (known mortally as Neill Jameson) continues the lo-fi racket of jagged noise with some ambient involvement, but predominantly grounds his project in traditional black metal roots.
No Future follows this aesthetic with a banging raw pace to open up the album, but it’s All Paths To God that disproportionately stands out with its remarkable sequence of pain-filled riffs that only get more impressive with the breakdown later in the song.
Unfortunately tracks like Ambergeist epitomise the all too easiness of a brutal sound without anything to guide it. Things only become more frustrating when you realise that an excellent slogging riff finally makes its presence known near the end of the song.
I would say that Remission and Religion III disappoint for very different reasons, but having any real love or hatred toward either of them is very difficult because of their emptiness– the feeling is simply indifferent.
If your ideal sound is the bruised up vile face of untainted aggression and the withstanding loyal purity to the traditional elements of the genre, then you may enjoy The Isolationist. However there’s essentially nothing here to elevate it further, and whilst it may be classic in style, it doesn’t hack it as an overall classic.