Genre: Blackened Death Metal/Doom
Label: Napalm Records
It would be rather brave to write warlike blackened death metal and your lyrics based on WW2 but especially when you come from Ukraine this could turn into something definitely suicidal. 1914 though wisely are dealing with the Great War the one us all now known as WW1. This is their 3rd strike while their previous one that was a massive success that gave them a bigger deal with Napalm Records “The Blind Leading the Blind” was released at the 11th hour on November 11th in order to hit shelves at the exact moment of the 100th anniversary of the end of the war; something that I felt that indicated their peaceful and/or positive nature as personalities. While the music and lyrics were about desperation, endless blood, sorrow, suffering and meaningless death in mud in the trenches, the band were giving a slice of hope through the day of the release of their album. And probably this is the only difference I see between “The Blind Leading The Blind” and “Where Fear and Weapons Meet” and their only connection at the same time. Still on “Where Fear and Weapons Meet” their music is ferocious and aggressive; as it should be. The hard thing to do is to balance between narration (as the band has music to a second role) and sonic atrocity. And this is where hope comes. The contrast on lyrics suggests something new. Most of the heroes and protagonists in the songs survived war became heroes and finally returned home. But musically speaking 1914 haven’t softened in any way. They have managed to create a personal stigma and a unique songwriting, that as they grow bigger will immediately become recognizable to more and more people, while keeping the Asphyx and Bolt Thrower (plus some Dissection-like leads) influences strong enriching them with symphonic blackened death parts or intro/outro and focusing even more on atmosphere created by orchestra playing along with them as in “Corps d’autos-canons-mitrailleuses (A.C.M)”, “FN .380 ACP#19074”, (the name of the song is the model, caliber and serial number of pistol of Gavrilo Princip, the Bosnian Serb student who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 and actually started WWI), “Mit Gott für König und Vaterland” and “Pillars Of Fire (The Battle Of Messines)”. They have used the help of Ukrainian folk musician Sasha Boole (Me And That Man) in the song “Coward” and haven’t fear at all on putting melodic/catchy elements on their songs [“Don’t Tread On Me (Harlem Hellfighters)”, a song in which we hear the story of Sergeant Henry Johnson the soldier Called “Black Death” in battlefield, who suffered 21 wounds and rescued a soldier while repelling an enemy raid in the Argonne Forest in 1918, but died 11 years later as a forgotten man] blended with samples of propagandistic speech. “Vimy Ridge (In Memory of Filip Konowal)” is their tribute to Filip Konowal, the only Eastern European born recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy given to British and Commonwealth forces. As their vocalist Dmytro Kumar and main lyric composer is an archeologist/historian that has access to British Imperial War Archives they found and used text from an original letter from back in the day, without any major changes. The letter talks about the death of private A. G. Harrison, who was killed in action on May 20, 1918, and the song is about his mother hearing the terrible news of her son never coming back. This is how “…And A Cross Now Marks His Place” was born and the song is a brilliant masterpiece that we can find PARADISE LOST‘s Nick Holmes, singing too. Just before the outro “War Out” that actually is probably the first anti-war song “I Didn’t Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier”, which was written by Alfred Bryan and Al. Piantadosi, and performed by Morton Harvey in 1915, we can hear an 11-minute death-doom version of a folk song by Eric Bogle and famously covered by Dropkick Murphys, “The Green Fields of France”… How much more perfection and symbolism can you handle?
“I didn’t raise my boy to be a soldier… Who dares to put a musket on his shoulder, To shoot some other mother’s darling boy?”