Updated: Mar 21, 2019
If you've ever seen KOMMANDANT live, you've truly witnessed a spectacle. Dressed in some military-type uniforms and donning gas masks, or maybe even resembling some bizarre, fucked up mad scientists in a war-torn land, Chicago's KOMMANDANT deliver a machine-gun blast of metal to pulverize the senses. Now, with fourth full-length "Blood Eel", the band continues its blitzkrieg of hatred and annihilation.
'Absolutum' opens up the album with faint, ominous keyboards, tribal drums and spoken word to strike fear into the hearts of the enemy. A flurry of guitars signal the arrival of 'Blood Eel' in an aural haze before Marcin Widel's bestial vocals rip forth along with the blasting drums of David Swanson. Nick Morgan and Jim Bresnahan (both on guitar), along with Patrick McCormick on bass, create an atmosphere of total loathing and fear. 'The Struggle' is a similar piece, though tending to shift directions in an unsteady rhythm to dizzy our equilibrium and stagger our senses. 'Ice Giant' opens with keyboards that could have arisen from a 70's b-movie until the raspy, screeching vocals make their appearance.
The guitars continue to throttle as the drums continue to thunder. 'Cimmerian Thrust' sounds like a crumbling monument brought down by the hordes of rebels done with the monarchy which was their home. Sixth track 'Aeon Generator' is another supersonic track with blistering guitars and drums that never, ever let up. KOMMANDANT's pure energy is one of their strengths. As other bands tend to throw in some mid-paced tracks to change things up, KOMMANDANT flip us off in their usual "Fuck off" way wit constant heaviness, which is appreciated.
Final track 'Moon...The Last Man', ends the album on a consistent note, making "Blood Eel" feel like a violation of our flesh and minds combined.
If you're looking for melodies and tongue-in-cheek lyrics, then this is not for you. For those looking for a swaggering, mutilated, tortuous array of pure, no-holds-barred metal, then check this out. It just may be what you've been waiting for all year.
- David Simonton, Photos by - Emily Harris