Hailing from Chicago, black metallers Kommandant have a different outlook to a lot of bands from that same genre. Rather than speaking out about Christianity or other darker subjects, they instead turn their hatred towards their home country, and the way it has turned over recent years. They use propaganda style imagery reminiscent of Russian Constructivist posters of the past to give the whole package an ominous look before you even listen to the music.
Musically, the band also stand out from the a lot of the other bands from the scene. Rather than stick to one particular style or sound as most black metal bands do, they offer a mixture of different styles to create their rallying battle cry. Opening “The Architects Of Extermination” with the slow burning ‘Let Our Vengeance Rise’, you are immediately drawn into their concept. A menacing sound builds up over the sound of a military drum, the slow march befitting the imagery used by the band. The title track follows and ups the pace considerably, which sets the pattern for the rest of the album.
One thing that remains constant throughout the album is the slow delivery of vocalist Marcus Kolar. This deep guttural growl seems to fit all of the tracks perfectly, whether they are fast or slower paced, and really brings everything together into one great package. Influences seem to range from the likes of Immortal, with some of the faster tracks really pushing the limits of the drummer, right through to the slower tracks which bring to mind “Ceremony Of Opposites” era Samael. The changes in pace and variety on offer show how much talent there is in this band, and has something for fans of most forms of extreme metal.
The mixture of styles makes this a much more exciting prospect than it could have been. A lot of black metal is one paced but they keep things fresh by alternating the tempo of tracks. Kommandant are serious about their art and have produced an album that backs up their intent and philosophy. As always with black metal, he ideas behind the album and the concept behind the band are as important as the music and writing and on this front, the band have brought this all together very competently. Three albums into their career, you very much get the feeling that this is a band that have found their feet and could well produce some thing very special very soon. You can’t go far wrong with an album that immediately has you checking out their a bands earlier work.