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An atmospheric journey to apocalypse - 70%

Lane, February 22nd, 2012

Polish newcomers Genius Ultor is a project by three non-novices from death/black metallers Stillborn. In Genius Ultor, guys hold a firm black metal standpoint, even though there are some hints of death and thrash metal.

The album consists of 17 tracks, but in reality, 'Antyfona' tracks are ambient soundscapes. These could be anything from the sounds of war, humans, walking, nature, among others, and even some non-metal music. So, the album might be annoying for some people to listen to, but I find this gimmick working; it definitely gives the band and the album some character and cold, apocalyptic and totalitarian vibe. And what's the most important thing, is that these ambient tracks do not make the album disjointed. After all, they aren't very long.

Okay, now for the metal music part, what you've all been waiting for, I presume... Stillborn elements are somewhere there, definitely. Their murky and dirty feeling is present in Genius Ultor, too. The black metal portion varies from fast blasting attack to punkier side of the style, but there is also a slower song 'Agonia Ona'. Heavy metal lifts its head on instrumental 'Zdrada'. Generally, the music reminds of things from early 1990s, and mentioning Mayhem and Impaled Nazarene might give you some idea of Genius Ultor. The songs are tight and short, but intertwining ambient soundscapes make the album feel a complete listening.

The album is fully in Polish language. The title translates to something like "day night", I think. Because of the lack of time, I cannot type the lyrics in a translator, so I'm not going to guess anything. Generally, the vocals are really throat-ripping and aren't held. Productionwise this is dirty and organic-sounding. The guitar sounds rusty and biting. The bass is at times distorted, reminding me of Motörhead. the drums are, in a word, devastating.

'Dzień Nocy' is an apocalyptic experience, that still feels soulful in a good way. It's worth checking out, if deathlike (not meaning death metal with this, mind you) atmosphere is what you want with your black metal.

(originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy.com)