Steady assault from front to black - 70% - autothrall
Vicious Swiss attack Menegroth use their black art to convey lyrical themes of futurism, politics and nationalism, so if this kind of thing makes your stomach weak, skip to the next review. Gazourmah is the 3rd full-length from this obscure band which features Targaz (of the excellent Tarihan), and it's a steady assault from front to back, with a few great moments of atmosphere and savagery.
The sounds of sirens, munitions and aerial discharge complement the grinding, raw "Pro Flieger zwei Bomben mehr", a track rooted in traditional black metal but not without a sense of bloodied melody. "Sternenflieger Sturmtruppen" charges with an anthemic fervor and some treacherous swerving rhythms, I enjoyed the slow ascent of the bridge rhythm. "Aqua Vitae" meshes mid paced rhythms with some rather thin sounding leads, but it works when the drums are storming beneath the melody. For more interesting fare, the industrial, rhythmic, martial narrative of "Mithras Initiation" creates a captivating break from all the bleak intensity of the metal. "Gazourmah - Der stählerne Held" opens with some bluesy, depressing riffs before it begins to thrash out. "Kritik an der reinen Vernunft" is another thrashy track with some vile black metal breaks, and the band also offers a cover of Blood Axis' "Storm of Steel".
Gazourmah has a rather average production for a black metal record, it's not overproduced but not as grim as the self-titled Menegroth from 2007. The rather martial and ritual edge to the music matches the philosophies the band is exploring, and they are not afraid to experiment where they deem fit. I enjoyed the album for a few listens, but not as much as its predecessor. If you fancy underground, politically motivated black metal, check it out.