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The version I possess is the tape version of the band’s first release and consists of two parts: the demo and two additional rehearsal songs. Therefore it is quite adequate to split the review into two segments and discuss the two differing parts accordingly.
It is somehow astounding what bands are capable of, even in their early days. This would you think by merely using the information offered by Kozeljnik’s homepage or one of their label’s. By looking at their Metal Archives’ site though, some more insights on the background of the musicians can be gained and is becomes obvious that the musicians behind this band are by far not new to the metal scene. Years and years of experience lie on their shoulders and a good deal of releases have been recorded by them. Therefore Wrecked in Ruins of Solitude can or even should be seen in a different light.
A good production... yes, this should be emphasized in this review, can be enjoyed on the two first tracks the demo consists of. The balancing is good and all of the instruments can be heard; also the bass. Yet what would a good production be worth, if the songs have the fascination of alcohol-free beer. It is not possible to enjoy it, as its taste is so awful that you are incapable to swallow even one bottle over the whole evening. Kozeljnik is rather like a too small flask of beer: just as you have begun to enjoy it, it is over. Two songs with together less than ten minutes is not really able to quench the thirst and to listen to it over and over again leads to some kind of plainness in the perception of the music; just as if you would drink the same beer again and again every day.
Black Metal is the style this Serbian band chose to express their art and they have done a quite good job in actually creating it. On their first demo they offer a nice mixture of fast and aggressive music, as well as midtempo and melodic one. Dawn from Sweden (vocals), Dark Funeral and of course also Darkthrone could be cited as bands that might have had an influence on the music of Kozeljnik. Unlike a lot of other Black Metal bands, this one from Serbia does not use screams to express the lyrics, but rather a normal one with some slight growling note in it. Over the whole length this particular style is being kept and it works fine with the music; a nice contrast to the way a lot of Black Metal bands tend to use the vocals. The guitars offer, in comparison to the vocals, some more variation and are not limited to endless tremolo-picking or the sort. Breaks are used to some extent and the music gains some drive and catchiness through this. Scourged with Apathy is a really good song and with more of the like the band would really be able to draw some attention to them.
The rehearsal part of the demo offers quite raw music of course, which is quite a contrast to the two songs other of the demo. As this is a bonus of the tape-edition, it is not necessary to get too much into details. With a better production and some sort of a balanced mixing, the cover version and the new track would sound much better of course. Yet it is possible to get a glimpse on the riff-structures and how the songs were arranged, but both of them suffer from the mess of a sound. Nevertheless is KaoSpawn not a bad one; despite the flaws in the production.
Kozeljnik is a fine band from Serbia and I really would not have missed this release at all. More songs would be nice to see and as there is already a new album announced for the mid of 2008 and hopefully it will consist of such good music as this demo does. The rating leaves out the rehearsal tracks, because it is rather pointless to judge something which is not more than a glimpse of the things to come and what is also clearly described as such.
Performance: Black Metal with a lot of variation in style and structure.
Production: quite good, an ounce more of the bass would be nice, though.
Song-writing: a lot of variation, nice riffs.
Annoying: too short, some more bass would be neat, as its sound is a little bit drowned.
Booklet: lyrics on the ‘regular’ songs, some information (band, recording session)
Length: about 18 minutes; including the rehearsal tracks. Obtained through tape-trading.