War - _Total War_
(Necropolis Records, 1998)
by: Henry Akeley (5 out of 10)
According to the typically bombastic Necropolis publicity sheet, this is "the ULTIMATE Black Metal recording" from "one of the finest bands in years." Well, lah dee dah. I think that's just a tad generous. In fact, if I had to pick an adjective to pin on this "all-star" outfit, it would be "mediocre". Their music -- all 17 whopping minutes of it -- is undistinguished and unatmospheric; ergo, uninteresting. Not that I don't enjoy simplistic, raw, primitive black metal. Quite the contrary, as long as it's got some atmosphere and imagination. The music of War, however, seriously lacks those qualities -- unless "contrived" counts as some kind of atmosphere. Still, this does contain a few cool moments in which the chainsaw repeato-riffing and steady snare-drum strikes coalesce into a good snarling blast or catchy cyclonic attack. The way in which these guys plug simple, cyclical riffs into short, standard song structures makes "black moshing metal" a fairly apt description of their sound, methinks. ("Euronymosh", anyone?) In the end, though, this is just way too repetitive to succeed, both because the songs are utterly simplistic and repetitious, and because all the imagery and whatnot is the same junk you've seen and heard hundreds of times before. I suspect that Von is a big influence on this project, but Von destroys this band if you ask me.

(article published 10/3/1998)

8/12/2001 A McKay 6 War - We Are... Total War
8/12/1999 P Schwarz 3 War - We Are War
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