Home > Music > Moonblood – Blut und Krieg (1996)

Moonblood – Blut und Krieg (1996)

folderSo Moonblood is kind of obscure. Nothing new – they were one of many bands that benefited substantially from commercialization of the internet, as it brought together what would otherwise be very isolated communities of underground metal fans to share their favorite works. As it is, this is your definition of “kvlt” – low fidelity production values, limited distribution, convoluted logo, overall inaccessible approach to music. If you ask me, they have to be doing something right in order to rise above the flood.

In a lot of ways, Moonblood is a distant relative of the “ambient” schools of black metal, as espoused by bands like Summoning and early Enslaved. Moonblood, on the other hand, despite relying heavily on repetition in their compositions, ends up giving us more conventionally structured material on this album. On the other hand, there are a variety of methods explored; on Blut und Krieg this mostly means there is a mixture of mid-paced, spacious material, more melodic, blast-beat driven material, and a few moments that were clearly intended as “epic”, film-score type stings to what is otherwise somewhat traditional black metal. No one approach stands out as clearly being better executed than the others, especially since much of the stronger material on this album combines elements of both.

The production is somewhat strange – essentially, it’s degraded and lo-fi, but in an unusually organic way. It’s devoid of the intent to produce garbled sound that a lot of music in this genre shows off, to the point that it sounds like the band may have desired a better production but was unable to get one with the resources they had at the time. Considering that this is one of Moonblood’s two full length, “professional” studio albums amongst a sea of demos and EPs, I may just be hearing Moonblood at their most polished and refined. If so, I’d say it benefits the band, because much of the material here eschews aggression or misanthropy for triumph and power (or at least the small bits of keyboard say). Polished is a bit of an overstatement, obviously, but the main flaw in Blut und Krieg‘s sound is that it’s poorly mixed and often more muted than it should be, given the aesthetics.

Given the half-ambient nature of this album, I can’t really complain about production or repetition, although I do tend to prefer the more dynamic songs like “Shadows” and “I Am All”. It would definitely make a good addition to your collection if you’re into the style, although it’s not really top tier material. Not all of the songs are that memorable, although there are no obvious compositional errors or bizarre decisions of that sort. On the other hand, a reasonably large portion of this album is well made, and that’s more than I can say for most music.

Highlights: “Shadows”, “Blut und Krieg”, “I Am All”

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