Artist: West Wall
Album Title: Blitzkrieg Symphony #1
Label: Old Guard Records/White Noise
This is the first album from West Wall, an American band playing WWII-themed death metal.
"Blitzkrieg Symphony #1" has a convincingly tank-like sound, rumbling and rattling, with extra emphasis on the low-end. The production is relatively clear, allowing the listener to pick out each detail in the drumming, lead guitar work, and vocals. The latter are growled, but perfectly understandable, and combine with the clever lyrics and rousing choruses to make this a great shout-along album.
This band features Ed from Bound For Glory, and the songs here are a lot like the history-based songs from "Behold the Iron Cross", combined with equal amounts of Bolt Thrower and Destroyer 666. The result is a paean to triumph, militarism, and WWII-era Germany, embodied in an ideal mix of epic death metal with hints of RAC/crossover. "Panzer Voran" and "Bloody Road to Karkov" are crushing, anthemic death metal tracks, while "Iron Fist" and "Over the Maginot" are a heavy metal braggart's dream. "Blitzkrieg Symphony" and "The Many Rivers I've Crossed" spearhead a violent, headbanging assault, one that should be amazing live. And then there's "Peiper's Last Stand" and "Titans' March", two of the best epic death metal songs since "Genesis to Genocide" -- simply perfect, deeply steeped in emotion and power.
The Nazi history theme is blatantly obvious, and will probably turn off a lot of potential listeners, but those willing to give this one a try will be amply rewarded. This is one of the best death metal albums I've ever heard; every moment of every song is astoundingly heavy, with catchy hooks strung through like loops of razor wire. This one is worthy of a place on my metal altar, right next to mid-paced classics like Bolt Thrower - "...For Victory", Asphyx - "The Rack", and Destroyer 666 - "Unchain the Wolves". "Blitzkrieg Symphony #1" gets my highest recommendations!
Standout Tracks: "Panzer Voran", "Titans' March", "Peiper's Last Stand"