1914 – Where Fear and Weapons Meet

If today you want to listen to a black death doom played with all the chrisms and depth, both for sound and for lyrical content, you should look at the Ukrainians 1914. The moniker is obviously not a random number, but it corresponds to the year in which the First World War started (the one that we Italians define as 15-18, taking as reference the period that concerned us directly) but, unlike many other bands that have dealt with the subject, the war event is not exalted as such, but is described with an eye of commiseration and at the same time of admiration for the deeds of unaware and anonymous heroes, thrown against their will into what will prove to be one of the worst massacres in history, whichever way you look at it. On the Facebook page of the band from Lviv stands the phrase “Where death becomes absurd and life absurd“, just to clear up any misunderstanding, and the resulting music is a synthesis of all this, proving to be powerful, corrosive and equally dramatic, making most of the possible competition disfigured in comparison thanks to an approach of uncommon intensity. They are not only masters in proposing extreme textures, now overwhelming in the name of a pounding black or a corrosive death, now enveloping and slowed down in the moments when doom appears, but they also fill the work with vocal samples and music of the time, not to mention a magnificent track as anomalous in this context as Coward (played by Sasha Boole, Ukrainian folk musician) that brings to mind an acoustic version of Jethro Tull. This song comes after the album’s masterpiece, Don’t Tread on Me (Harlem Hellfighters), dedicated to the legendary African-American infantry unit that faced racial segregation upon returning home, while Nick Holmes lends his illustrious voice in …And a Cross Now Marks His Place. Where Fear and Weapons Meet is a work that lasts more than an hour, but when you get to the end there is no fatigue because the skill of 1914 and the variety of the sound proposed mean that, at the end of the day, you are left with the awareness of having listened to one of the best albums in the sector among those released in recent years, giving continuity to two other superb works such as the debut Eschatology of War (2015) and the following The Blind Leading the Blind (2018).

2021 – Napalm Records