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I have heard about this band some time before, but the first time I heard their music was on a local metal festival that they headlined. I was suspecting mediocre “pagan metal” with musicians who barely know how to play their instruments and so try to stick to simplicity when composing songs. And boy, was I surprised…
The music on this record is atmospheric black metal. Hyperfast and precise drumming, aggressive yet melodic guitarplaying and majestic keyboards in the background. Acoustic guitars also appear from time to time. The vocals are - typically for black metal - shrieks, but clean vocals also appear. The lyrics are all in Polish. The songs are mostly similar to what bands like Immortal or Emperor do, but what makes this band different is the fact, that the mood changes quite often in almost every track. A song can start fast, ultraheavy and incredibly brutal and then the atmosphere changes and the song becomes calm and epic, and then goes back.
Firstly, I must say that I admire their album covers. It’s not really important, but it’s nice to see a cover art that isn’t almost the same as every other black metal cover done at the time. “Krzyk ¦witu” is another record of this band that has a beautiful cover art. But now, on to what’s really important - the music. In the previous paragraph I mentioned that the mood changes in the tracks, and now I will add, that these changes don’t occur too often nor do they sound out of place, so the mood changes here are a good thing. In addition, the band adds lots of interesting touches to their compositions, like lullaby-sounding clean singing in “Dwie Twarze Mroku” or a very sublime atmosphere and choirs in “Kontyna”, and I’d also like to add, that an acoustic guitar playing over a blastbeat is an interesting thing to hear. As for the vocals, they are actually amazing, both the black metal shrieks - that aren’t very raspy actually, but sometimes are really brutal - and the clean vocals (one time deep and enchanting, sometimes almost whispered), and the lyrics are great too and they add to the atmosphere - even though the vocals are sometimes rather unintelligible. The musicianship here is flawless, and especially I admire Wizun, Abusiveness’ drummer, who is one of the best Polish metal drummers. He’s not focusing only on speed, his playing is well thought out, he plays many blastbeats but never gets lost in blastbeating and often uses exceptionally interesting patterns. But this CD isn’t a complete masterpiece - unfortunately the sound of the record is just terrible and often you just can’t hear what exactly is the band playing. This is a big letdown, as some notes just get lost… If the production was better I would rate this one even higher.
So, all in all, a highly interesting record and I recommend this to everyone who likes metal music. Of course you may say that you don’t like black metal at all, but this will be just your problem… And I would like to add, that this band is even better live… check them out if you ever have the chance!
I heard about this band through an extremely loyal friend of mine who happened to have actually lured me into the Polish metal scene. Polish death metal is of course orgasmic, but who ever heard of Polish black metal? Obviously most people on the internet who decided to review this album. I've seen oh so many reviews for this atmospheric masterpiece, and 9/10 of them were A.) 95% or higher, or B.) 100%. Get ready to be stung, because this is a fucking B.
Remember when you first got into the black metal underground and constantly percieved that feeling of greatness and accomplishmental values whenever you got a new release? I sure as hell do, and I miss that feeling oh so much. I was very, very relieved when I received this album. It starts out like most releases of this kind, with a very soft sound of nature in the background with perhaps some cymbals and a few timpani drumming sequences here and there, but is probably attempting to create an atmosphere similar to the cover art (as most black metal bands do). Now looking at the fact that the cover art is amazingly beautiful, simply implying that they create an atmosphere that fits with it is obviously saying a lot.
Quite similar to early Darkthrone releases, this album has pretty lousy production. But the production fits just right with the music. It's not too staticy, and its not too...not staticy. While we're on the subject of everything fitting well together amongst this album, why don't we take a ganderous hearing upon the vocals? The vocals are perfect and actually an extremely small amount of raspiness is present, but other than that they're just evil enough to fit in. Nothing to cry over. The riffs are absolutely mind-blowing and tend to progress into loud melodic grindy sequences, but are atmospheric? Now how could that be? Surely it's something that only few bands can incorporate into everything else going on, but Abusiveness is one of those bands who do it with a wink and a smile. No worries. The drummer for this band can be mentioned in the same sentances of people such as Flo Mounier, Hellhammer, Frost, Tomas Haake, and Zbigniew Robert Prominski, without hesitation. He can actually seem to create atmospheres with the drums, a difficult performance that few can commit (seeing that they aren't a melodic instrument).
In the end, this is one of the best atmospheric black metal albums I have EVER heard. So throw out your little Arcturus albums and get a hold of this. This band formed in 1991, and this is the only full-length they have released so far. All of their demos and EPs have lead up to this, but no pressure; it's worth the money.