1914 “Where Fear And Weapons Meet”
By Dr. Abner Mality
This is one of those special records you encounter but rarely. It’s something that’s part of the heavy metal universe, but offers something more than that as well. A record where theme, music and vision all intertwine seamlessly to create an epic that transports you somewhere beyond the routine.
This Ukrainian band’s last record “The Blind Leading The Blind” suggested a world of promise. That promise has now been fulfilled and surpassed on “Where Fear And Weapons Meet”. Like the last record, this album is totally inspired by the madness and horror of World War I. But this is much richer and more diverse in its sonic palette, while somehow emerging as even heavier than its predecessor. Believe me when I say BOLT THROWER never wrote an album about war that was as deep and intense as this. It is next level metal deeply entrenched in history.
The death/doom metal of BOLT THROWER is a good starting point for 1914, but “Where Fear And Weapons Meet” adds layers and layers of sound to the crushing metal. There is a grand symphonic element to “Pillars of Fire” and “Don’t Tread On Me” that makes the tunes even more massive. Throughout the album, samples from actual battles, World War I themed films and music taken from the war itself give a denseness to the concept, a feeling of historical reality. The band really took their time setting this all up and putting it into place.
Some benchmark tracks: “Coward” is a brief bit of acoustic folk that tells the story of a British deserter.
“And A Cross Now Marks His Place” is tank-like death/doom where the lyrics are taken from a message telling a mother than her son has died in action. The album ending epic “The Green Fields of France” actually has the feeling of a miserable trench warfare campaign, laced with mournful bagpipies and at one point descending into what sounds like a pure industrial hell. Throughout the album, the riffs, aggression and agonized vocals of death metal are ever present, but merged with something bigger and more tragic.
This is for sure one of the albums of the year for me. 1914 have come up with an all time classic.