Back in 2010 Kriegshög released a self-titled LP, and it was just about everything you could want from a raw, blown-out D-beat hardcore record: taut, muscular and charged with furious, maniacal power.

Fast forward 14 years and what feels like a lifetime’s worth of hatred, bullshit and disaster, and you could be forgiven for expecting another dose of the same: everything is terrible, humanity is on the brink of swallowing itself and the answer, as ever, is surely more raw, blown-out, D-beat hardcore. 

Except, no, not really. Well, kind of? But not really. 

While Kriegshög retain their ferocious energy and ungodly strength, they’ve sloughed off their skin to become something new. There’s no denying the lineage – fans of Bastard, Death Side and The Clay will not be disappointed – but something curious has definitely occurred. Things have slowed down and bulked out, and there’s bleed at the edges. There’s a fuzziness now that doesn’t detract from the band’s thunder, but meddles with the senses at subconscious level. Tracks boast strange, mesmeric properties, as though ‘Why’ or ‘Wind Of Pain’ had somehow been informed by Neu! In ‘Grey Agony’, meanwhile, the band have penned what has to be one of the catchiest, most viscerally anthemic hardcore songs of the year. 

It’s savage and direct, but constantly startling. Intense and inventive, but never showily so. A modern-day masterpiece, I think?