Polish Metal

Ars Magna Umbrae – Lunar Ascension Review

Ars Magna Umbrae – Lunar Ascension Review

“Dissonant black metal is having a bit of a moment. With the late-aughts explosion of woodsy atmoblack now a decade old and on the wane—if ever so slightly—and artists turning to other inspiration for blackened evolution, those reclusive and mysterious French musicians of Deathspell/Aus Nord who first pioneered a more technical, terrifying sound are suddenly elder statesmen of a mini-movement. Now there’s K. M., the appropriately cryptic single member of Poland’s Ars Magna Umbrae, with a new album of dissoblack tunes.” Magna opus.

Kriegsmaschine – Apocalypticists [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Kriegsmaschine – Apocalypticists [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“Basic blasts, hammer blasts, gravity blasts, heel-toe blasts, bomb blasts, swivelling foot bomb blasts. Extreme metal certainly has all bases covered when it comes to extreme technical drumming. It’s a race, people. Who can play the fastest? Who can hit those hollow boxes the hardest? Who can sweat the most? Speed isn’t everything. In fact, speed can be a hindrance. Black metal is mostly known for its speed and rage, but its greatest asset is it’s ability to formulate a sense of unease and evilness. For Kriegsmaschine evilness and unease are achieved not through blistering speed and ridiculous technical acrobatics, but by taking a step back and approaching things from a different angle.” Murder maschines.

Gorycz – Piach Review

Gorycz – Piach Review

“There are certain things that will always warm a music reviewer’s cold, dead heart. Poland’s Gorycz, for example, made a good impression on me immediately, as I opened the promo to an actual lyric sheet. Granted, that wasn’t much help with reviewing their debut, Piach, as my knowledge of Polish goes only a little further than “kurwa,” but it’s the thought that counts. The band choosing to write in their mother tongue was, in fact, only another point in their favor for a multiculturalism-loving cuck like myself.” First impressions matter.

Vane – Black Vengeance Review

Vane – Black Vengeance Review

“If you’re anything like me, you often find yourself pondering the great questions of the universe. For instance, like me you’ve probably wondered what would happen if Lamb of God and Kataklysm made sweet love while Alestorm sat in the corner reading them a bedtime story. Unlike most of the big questions plaguing humanity, we no longer have to speculate on this one. Polish band Vane love drama on the high seas, and on their debut album Black Vengeance, they throw their three-pointed hat into the hotly contested ring of pirate metal. Is this going to be worth the pay-per-view fee?” Hoist the N00bs and batten down the skull pit!

Mentor – Cults, Crypts and Corpses Review

Mentor – Cults, Crypts and Corpses Review

“This will stand as one of the most random introductions I’ve ever written. But the thought sprung to mind and, now, here we go. I dislike the word ‘mentor.’ But not for reasons you might expect. My dislike for the word has nothing to do with a bad experience as/with a mentor or mentee, or anything else along those lines. I hate the word because of how it rolls off my tongue. I’ve heard it pronounced as ‘mentor’ and as ‘menter.’ Yet, I’m incapable of saying the word as others around me say it. Instead, my enunciation transforms me into someone from The Great British Baking Show.” Mentor, mentee, manatee.

Totenmesse – To Review

Totenmesse – To Review

To was advertised to me as “dark ambient” and it felt mightily appropriate to absorb something subtle and atmospheric considering the (finally) dropping temperatures here in Western Europe. Alas, it was immediately apparent to me that it is, in fact, black metal of the Polish ilk and while it may be dark, it most certainly demanded my attention more directly than ambient. In many ways, it’s typical of the Polish scene to draw on death metal in the formulation of its black metal. But is there more to say beyond this?” Come for the genre mislabeling, stay for the Polish hospitality.

Outre – Hollow Earth Review

Outre – Hollow Earth Review

“Another day another cryptic European black metal band. I’m certainly not complaining. Between the 90s and today, impulsive, anarchistic satanism has been replaced by the sophisticated, wine drinking sort: we’re all very smart these days, you see. Nature, religion and the occult have been approached with kaleidoscopic freedom in the lyrics and instrumentation of black metal bands for many years, but Poland particularly has spawned many bands of this mysterious, enigmatic variety.” The Polish Hammer.

Behemoth – I Loved You at Your Darkest Review

Behemoth – I Loved You at Your Darkest Review

“"Behemoth‘s star has been on the rise for nearly 15 years. Following the release of 2004’s Demigod and 2007’s The Apostasy, these Poles toured frenetically in the USA and Europe, building a huge fanbase based on their dominant live presence and hooky blackened death sound. Their hard work paid dividends when they were picked up by Nuclear Blast, resulting in 2009’s Evangelion. But while neither The Apostasy nor Evangelion were a tour de force equal to Demigod, Behemoth delivered on 2014’s The Satanist, which showcased the darkest, most mature writing of Nergal’s career. But great records are tough to follow, and the rounds of snickering that ensued following the release of the title I Loved You at Your Darkest and the album’s first single—”God=Dog”—hinted at skepticism among fans." Maybe The Satanist was an exception, not the establishment of a new rule?” Loving the evil sinner.

Throneum – The Tight Deathrope Act over Rubicon Review

Throneum – The Tight Deathrope Act over Rubicon Review

“You’ve got to hand it to Throneum. Back in 2016 I took a big steaming metaphorical shit all over their Morbid Death Tales album, and less than two years later the raw death metal trio have come right back with nearly an hour of new music. And they even sent us the promo, to boot! Clearly the Polish troupe must be quite proud of their Tight Deathrope Act over Rubicon, but lingering memories of Death Tales’ shithouse production and underdeveloped songwriting left me reluctant to snag this regardless.” Walk the Deathrope.