KRIEG’s forthcoming record, Transient (out September 2via Candlelight Records) is one I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time. It’s been four years since the New Jersey black metal band released The Isolationist, but they were busy releasing plenty of splits and EPs during that gap (I highly recommend checking out the split with WOLVHAMMER). Transient is a continued journey into the personal darkness of frontman, N. Jameson.
The LP begins with “Order of the Solitary Road,” a song that Jameson told us at A&GS is the biggest statement on the record as it is representative of the sonic nature of Transient, and I agree. The various musical styles represented in the track range from noise to crust to post-punk to black metal. The atmosphere is extremely dark and aggressive, serving as an accurate reflection of how shitty this world can be. “Circling the Drain” begins with a very heavy, old school black metal-esque riff that later changes shape due to the increase in tempo via J. Dost’s drumming. Halfway through the song, everything but the drums stop and the pace slows. Soon after, the entire band blasts forward through to the end. KRIEG’s third track is “Return Fire,” an extremely gritty, raw, and punishing song. A. Poole, D. Zdanavage, and D. Sykes feature some of their heaviest riffs on this one.
“To Speak with Ghosts” is a song that appears on KRIEG’s Isolation/Transmission EP, however on Transient, it sees some minor changes. For instance, the intro sounds slightly different on the LP. The track has a deep despair about it. As it changes tempo throughout its duration, that atmosphere remains consistent. “Atlas with a Broken Arm” is chaotic from start to finish. One of my favorite moments on the album occurs around the four minute mark when a cleaner, delay driven guitar lead is played over the thick and disgusting rhythm. The dynamics are well executed and it serves as a very memorable part of the record. “Time” has a harsh, cold, and negative atmosphere. This is the most straightforward black metal track on Transient.
Next in line is “Winter,” a title shared with the season I despise with every fiber of my being. Unlike my feelings towards the season, “Winter” is a highlight on the LP. Jameson’s varied vocal attack sounds incredible and makes this song for me. It really separates the emotions within the composition and creates a treacherous musical landscape. The song presents a consistent, resounding sickness throughout. “Walk with Them Unnoticed” is definitely my favorite track on Transient. The song has an ethereal feeling. The lyrical content is negative, and I found myself connecting to it the most out of any other song on the record. Most of KRIEG’s music has a negative focus, but the degree of misery in “Walk with Them Unnoticed” is different and perfectly constructed.
“Ruin Our Lives” feels like a partnering with “Walk with Them Unnoticed.” A similar melancholic state seems to be shared between the two. I’m not exactly sure that is how this was intended, but these songs feel as if they are a two part epic. “Ruin Our Lives” features moments of noise experimentation that separates the sections of gloom. “Home” opens with a monologue describing disdain for what the general population has become. The words are all too true. Beneath the spoken word lies an ambient foundation, later giving way to noise and a brief moment of acoustic guitar. “Home” is unlike any other track on Transient, but makes quite a strong statement. The album closer, “Gospel Hand,” starts at a blistering speed, gradually slowing its tempo until its somber, single fading out guitar ending.
Though the wait for Transient seemed long, it was well worth it. KRIEG continues to expand their sound and creativity. The guitar tones, as well as the drums, sound filthy, giving the album a decaying sound; which is extremely appropriate given the subject matter of the songs. Fans who enjoyed The Isolationist can expect an increasingly personal record from KRIEG. The misery and despair thrive on Transient.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM
WRITTEN BY ERIC THE BULL