Album Review – N.K.V.D. / Totalitarian Industrial Oppression (2016)

Join the metallic army of Industrial Black Metal brought forth by an interesting project from France inspired by dictatorship, totalitarianism and oppression.

Rating4

nkvd_tioNarodnyi Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del (Russian for “People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs”), or simply N.K.V.D., was the public and secret police organization of the Soviet Union that directly executed the rule of power of the Soviets, including political repression, during the era of Joseph Stalin, being active from 1943 to 1946. Almost 60 years after its dissolution, here we have the new generation of N.K.V.D., this time an Industrial Black Metal project formed by French multi-instrumentalist Loïc.F in Montpellier, a city in southern France, blasting their disturbing and uproarious dark music inspired by dictatorship, totalitarianism and oppression, among other obscure topics from a not-so-distant past.

N.K.V.D.’s brutal, cold Black Metal has been haunting the souls of the living since 2005 with a series of outstanding releases, those being their debut EP Diktatura in 2007, their first full-length album Vlast in 2011, and finally the album Hakmarrja in 2014. By the way, an extract of the song “Hakmarrja” appears in the recently released movie The Blair Witch Project, just for you to get a sense of how obscure their music is. After a decade of existence, as both Diktatura and Vlast have been sold out for years, Loïc.F together with Krucyator Productions and Clan of Exclusion decided to release a compilation entitled Totalitarian Industrial Oppression, uniting the two records in one with a remastered version of Vlast. Featuring a tyrannical artwork by H & Secret Shelter, this special compilation offers the most solid and disquieting Industrial Black Metal you can think of, taking you to the darkest years of political repression in the history of mankind.

The menacing and phantasmagoric intro Ch.R.I kicks off the first part of the album, the EP Diktatura, opening the gates for a pulverizing Industrial Metal hymn with a true Black Metal aura titled Kadyrovski Klan, which makes Ministry and Nine Inch Nails sound like the Teletubbies so heavy it is. Moreover, Loïc.F was capable of creating such a diverse and dense sounding by himself he truly deserves to be called a one-man army, not to mention the song’s sensational marching ending. Then we have another dissonant and disturbing composition, Die Blinde Wissenschaft (or “the blind science” from German), even more furious than its predecessor and a delight for the lovers of the genre, where all spaces are filled with metallic and aggressive sounds; followed by Incipit SSSR, a song that will pierce your mind so belligerent it is, the perfect soundtrack for a warlike horror movie with the vocals by guest musician Eric Syre sounding truly demonic and full of hatred. And closing the EP we have the perturbing soundtrack-inspired track Sloboda, which somber ambience in the beginning gives place to pure epicness in the form of Industrial Metal that “marches” powerfully until the song’s end.

promo-pictureLet me warn you that the second part, the remastered album Vlast, is not going to be any lighter than Diktatura, starting with the thunderous and explosive noises that smoothly morph into mean Atmospheric Black Metal in Geheime Staats Polizei (German for “Secret State Police”), where although drums are programmed, they add an impeccable level of violence to the overall result. The second version of Incipit SSSR, featuring guest musician H.S on vocals, is as epic and obscure as the original version, with its demonic warlike aura embracing the listener while Loïc.F does a great job by adding the necessary samples to the music, making the whole song more realistic; whereas Ibn Al Khattab presents a flammable feast of blast beats, menacing voices and another killer performance by H.S, with Loïc.F creating an eruption of dark sounds in the background, turning it into one of the best tracks of the album. And in Alkhan-Kala, we face a wicked narration in the beginning followed by more sheer darkness in the form of Extreme Metal, sounding like an industrial army marching to war.

Get ready for war in the last batch of industrialism and dictatorship from Totalitarian Industrial Oppression. In Geniul Din Carpati (or “Genius of the Carpathians” from Romanian), Loïc.F definitely knows how to start a song in a very impactful way, with the strident and resonant sound of drums penetrating your mind despite the entire song not being  as gripping as the rest of the album. As industrialist as possible, Krasnaya Paranoia shows no sign of happiness or peace, with its imposing background being the perfect stage for guest vocalist Tyrant Moloch to provide his gnarls to another brutal creation by N.K.V.D., while in Socijalisticka Federativna Republika Jugoslavija we have an army chant to kick off things in a proper, ominous way. If you pay good attention to the entire album, you’ll notice this is an alternative (or more complete) version of “Sloboda”, exhibiting similar samples, rhythm and tempo changes, but with a stronger vibe and density. The last track of the album, Grozny, is simply disturbing, showcasing heavy guitar sounds and fierce drums in a solid fusion of Black and Industrial Metal, something Loïc.F has mastered doing. It’s basically an instrumental tune that would have been much more effective if slightly shorter, but still quite enjoyable.

If you want to join the metallic army of N.K.V.D. forged in their autocratic realm of Industrial Black Metal, simply visit their Facebook page for more information on this unique project. And obviously don’t forget to support the independent scene by purchasing your copy of Totalitarian Industrial Oppression by visiting their BandCamp page, the Krucyator Productions’ BandCamp page or webstore, or also at Discogs.

Best moments of the album: Kadyrovski Klan, Geheime Staats Polizei and Ibn Al Khattab.

Worst moments of the album: Geniul Din Carpati and Grozny.

Released in 2016 Krucyator Productions

Track listing
Part 1 (Diktatura EP)
1. Ch.R.I 1:14
2. Kadyrovski Klan 4:48
3. Die Blinde Wissenschaft 4:16
4. Incipit SSSR 4:42
5. Sloboda 6:39

Part 2 (Vlast)
6. Geheime Staats Polizei 5:37
7. Incipit SSSR 4:32
8. Ibn Al Khattab 3:02
9. Alkhan-Kala 4:12
10. Geniul Din Carpati 4:17
11. Krasnaya Paranoia 4:25
12. Socijalisticka Federativna Republika Jugoslavija 5:47
13. Grozny 5:11

Band members
Loïc.F – guitars, bass, programming, samples

Guest musicians
Eric Syre – vocals on “Incipit SSSR” (Diktatura version)
Masterssatan – vocals on “Die Blinde Wissenschaft”
H.S  – vocals on all Vlast album, except on “Krasnaya Paranoia”
Tyrant Moloch – vocals on “Krasnaya Paranoia”

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