Kreuzfeuer - _Blut fur Blut_
(Endzeit Klange, 2000)
by: Alvin Wee (8 out of 10)
While Germany remains the undisputed land of melodic power metal and the like, more extreme forms of metal have been festering in the Teutonic depths. Sadly, the quality of such has been questionable, with even the more successful names like Nagelfar and Moonblood hardly making a dent on the international underground, with the exception of certain non-musical achievements (read: Absurd) making relative headlines. As such, it's rare to come across a German band not entirely motivated by anti-Semitic sentiments. Kreuzfeuer remain an enigma despite my repeated attempts to analyse the driving force behind them. A direct, simple description is in order: the surprisingly professional layout belies the nature of this obscure private pressing, and suggests a slab of brutal, war-obsessed death metal. The music, however, is a total shock, opening with a strange chant leading into a catchy, almost cheerful play of rollicking riffs and whimsical(?) synth, a greater surprise coming in the form of a "Hallelujah" chorus!!! The purist in me dismisses such metal irreverence as pure sacrilege; the actual effect is more appealing than it sounds on paper, and a few more spins is all it takes to start me (secretly) humming along. The sheer tongue in cheek mood seems to pervade the entire album, the mostly merry, catchy tunes clashing bizarrely with the pensive, sombre lyrics. Rather than detract from the effect of the album, this jarring juxtaposition serves to drive home the message with an irony as yet unmatched in the genre. Heavy metal riffs war with guttural growls and highly memorable solos, creating melodic soundscapes most Gothenburg clones would do well to learn from. The very talent for crafting pure foot-tapping melodies song after song is incredibly obvious in just one listening, and to dismiss this band as a mere joke (which they are, in their own unique way) is to miss out on one of the most interesting bands to come out of the German underground in recent years. The fate of such an experimental piece of work is already decided: like most other over-the-top progressives, this band is likely to languish in relative obscurity. Most listeners would be tempted to label Kreuzfeuer as a meaningless "fun" band, but it doesn't take much to realize the potential of this highly unique record. Distribution and promotion is obviously a problem with records like this (this review copy was obtained for my own distro through a supplier), and therefore obtaining a copy might prove difficult. I highly recommend the more adventurous to contact the band directly.

Contact: tattoo@01019freenet.de

(article published 25/10/2000)


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