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Kömmand - Stubborn Arsenal

Stubborn Arsenal
by Hutch at 03 January 2022, 3:48 AM

My first encounter with the blackened thrash of KÖMMAND came in the form of 2019’s visceral “Savage Overkill” which was as gnarly an album as you could encounter that year. I wasn’t hugely impressed by it but the nods to DARKTHRONE and BATHORY meant it lingered in the memory. Two years later and the ridiculously named troupe from Seattle rears its ugly head once more. Although the band is now a four-piece, the recording for “Stubborn Arsenal” was completed by former drummer Exhumer and the main driver behind the band, Kömmander Z. If you can stop laughing for a minute at the names and descriptions of what the band play, then “Stubborn Arsenal” is a solid blackened thrash release and very much in vogue with the movement that has ripped through the metal world with as much ferocity as a vindaloo does to my guts.

I’m not sure of the reason for naming the album “Stubborn Arsenal”, but I’m sure it’s not an ode to the legendary Highbury back-four of Dixon, Adams, Bould and Winterburn, whose defensive tightness led to the famous “1-0 to the Arsenal” chant and their peak meanness in 1999 when they conceded just 17 goals all season. Having hung the sheepskin back in the cupboard, let’s get stuck into the brutality on offer.

The album opens with “Kömmand”, the band’s anthem and immediately the bowels are rumbling for this is a ferocious onslaught that takes few prisoners. A blood-spattered trail of carnage follows in the band’s path, the combination of dirty black metal and old school thrash make this either a delight or a nightmare, depending on your persuasion and tastes. Given that the likes of HELLRIPPER, MIDNIGHT, BEWITCHER and WEREWOLVES all get me fired up, it’s unsurprising that this raw and putrid spew is right up my street.

Yes, it is chaotic, out of control and at times almost about to crash in a ditch, but the combination of MOTÖRHEAD, SLAYER and VENOM that KÖMMAND draw deep on is absolutely raging. The song titles are predictable but in keeping with the overall filth that is part of this aural assault. The vocals are gravel coated in the style of Tom G Warrior, whilst the musicianship is on the button. Searing solos rip out, the riffs are savage and explosive and the sheer maelstrom that is created, well, you get the message.

“Chained to the Pentagram” throws the black metal angle into the pot, the dark one-minute “Poser Disposer” adds a sinister edge and closing track “Sewagechrist” is about as anti-Christian as you could want. All in all, a nine-track eruption of all that is good in the blackened metal scene today. It’s not fancy, it’s not polished, but when you get dirt under the fingernails, sometimes you don’t want to clean them straight away.

Songwriting:  7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 8
Production:  7

3 Star Rating

1. Kömmand
2. Chained to the Pentagram
3. Illicitör
4. Poser Disposer
5. I Dim Your Gleam
6. Speedkilling
7. Blood Upon the Eastern Throne
8. Streetforces
9. Sewagechrist
Kömmander Z: String-Shaking Wargrind Breathless Filthvomits (Vocals, Guitar)
Destrukutor: Corpse-Waking Wargrind (Guitars)
Carnage: Low-end Crushfukk (Bass)
Bael’Zharon: Hi-Speed Nuclear Impact (Drums)

Recording Line up:
Kömmander Z: String-Shaking Wargrind Breathless Filthvomits (Vocals, Guitar)
Exhumer: High Speed Smash Fukk (Drums)

Record Label: Metal on Metal Records


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