"We Are ... Total War"

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Total War, or War as they are known in the rest of the world, have re-released their first two out-of-print CDs on one easy-to-digest CD. "We Are ... Total War" features fourteen tracks as each original CD had seven songs each. The raw, primal, and relentless black metal contained herein was in direct response to the proliferation of theatrical, keyboards, and female vocals of music in the mid- to late-'90s.

Of course, my favorite track is a damn cover song: Sodom's "Bombenhagel" kicks serious ass without some of the overwrought black metal ferocity. "Bombenhagel" and its riffs really chug along at a blistering pace without resorting to the blurry mess that primal black metal is often subjected to.

All fourteen tracks pass in just over half an hour with consistent bludgeoning throughout. This is not for those who like fancy stuff in their music. Total War is raging black metal with one clear target: Christianity. The pro-Satan, anti-Christian stance of Total War is a bit tiring and sometimes comical, but their conviction is not to be denied.

Fans of early era brutal black metal cannot do without this CD, but Total War will never endear themselves to the metal masses.

Tracks 1 through 7 of "We Are ... Total War" originally appeared on "Total War" and were produced by Total War and Peter Tagtgren. Tracks 8 through 14 originally appeared on "We Are War" and were produced by Total War and Mikael Hedlund. The production is well above average, but not to be unexpected where Hypocrisy mates Peter Tagtgren and Mikael Hedlund are involved.

Total War is a black metal supergroup of sorts. Jim "All" Berger on vocals, Tony "It" Sarkka and Blackmoon on guitars, Mikael Hedlund on bass, and Peter Tagtgren on drums. Lars Szoke contributed drums and guitar; Impious added guitars as well. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Aug 2022 14:16:30 -0400 .