by Cosmo Lee

Kommandant evoke the Red Baron segments of Peanuts cartoons, where Snoopy, piloting his doghouse-turned-Sopwith Camel, would invariably get shot down. Those drones haunt Stormlegion (Planet Metal, 2008) in the form of electrically buzzing riffs. The visuals are warlike, too, with vaguely fascist fonts and images of gas masks. However, the Chicago band, which has included members of Nachtmystium, is emphatically apolitical. So far, it has not printed lyrics to its songs, which are mostly about war. The songs are short, sharp shocks of thrashy black metal. (Imagine Slayer crossed with Immortal.) They’re efficient – only one is longer than four minutes – with a crisp, dry mix. Guitars churn like finely tuned engines; drums are set to “strafe.” A slight industrial edge tinges the record, not through electronics but through goose-stepping riffs. Kommandant may well become the Bolt Thrower of black metal.

No Compassion
Social Parasite

The End
Planet Metal