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MASTIPHAL: "Parvzya" - 50%

skaven, October 23rd, 2012

Considering how modern black/death metal fusion Mastiphal plays on their second full-length Parvzya, it comes as a surprise that the band embarked on its journey back in 1991 already (though under a different name), releasing the debut album 1995 and hence belonging to the first Polish black metal groups. I am not familiar with that record, but at least on Parvzya there’s a slight lack of originality, the album being quite a basic slew of tracks which fluctuate between modern Watain esque discordance and more old school and death metal influenced heaviness.

While Parvzya evokes an aura of convincing darkness, not every second is pure splendor. The songs are executed smoothly with either rapid speeds or with good grooves, not to forget those epic solos, but only rarely do the songs rise to truly memorable riffing. ”May He Rot in Hell” and ”Under the Sign of the Morning Star” could be noteworthy mentions here, being some of the album’s highlights, but around the middle of the album, Parvzya starts to repeat its common blasting a tad too much.

As a usual complainer of polished productions, I could mention the drum sound that would have worked better with a filthier sound instead of this professional and sterile precision they call a standard for drums on extreme metal albums nowadays. Perhaps I’m supposed to just get used to this Necromorbus studio sound that dominates on every other new release I hear today, ha. Luckily the other instrumentation works nicely (guitars varying from downtuned murkiness to the more common black metal tremolo menace), as does Flauros’ evil spewing.

In the end, what’s left of Parvzya is a few captivating tracks and an overall good atmosphere. Tight playing and clear sound, these both maybe to an excessive level. There’s no way of calling Parvzya a true masterpiece but the whole has its moments of brilliance, hence rating the album in the scale of one to five is a tough decision, but I’m settling to a moderate score. If modern and extreme is your thing in particular, you may add a half star or even more, because Parvzya clearly isn’t the worst effort in this style.

2.5 / 5
[ ]

Great comeback from forgotten Polish band - 90%

dismember_marcin, August 3rd, 2011

I must say that the Mastiphal comeback is as much unexpected for me as most of the other old bands returning to the scene. I just didn't expect this band to ever releasing something new. But you must know also that although I did know this band well and listened to their recordings sometimes, I've never seen them as my favourite band; at the time of mid to late 90's I preferred Christ Agony and Behemoth much more. But when Witching Hour released "Damnatio Memoriae" last year (a double CD compilation with all Mastiphal’s old recordings, like demos, album, etc), I've listened to it with pleasure. Man, all my old tapes with Mastiphal were long covered with dust, so it felt good to listen to them again. But I didn't have any idea what to expect from this comeback album. The musical reality of nowadays is so different to what was going on in the 90's that it would be a huge mistake and misunderstanding to expect the band to play in similar style to „For A Glory of All Evil Spirits, Rise for Victory”. And luckily Mastiphal recorded a material proper for the XXI century… and killed. The production is excellent, so is the band's technique and arrangements and the album is well thought through and structured. This album feels like it’s been perfected in every bit, and as for my taste, it is also very good.

I guess you can feel Flauros' experience, the guy recorded several albums with Darzamat (band, which I really don’t like he, he), so he knows exactly what he does. He's got his style of playing and composing, also his vocals are pretty characteristic, although I must say that often his vocal arrangements and singing reminds me Cezar from the mighty Christ Agony. But there's no shame to sound like an old master, especially if the music is also great. And black metal on „Parvzya” is so varied and rich in arrangements that I dare to say not many bands in the world would be able to record something on similar level.

I like the fact that Mastiphal managed to do everything (complicated arrangements, structures, etc) without help of keyboards or any other additional instruments. The entire music is based on the work of two guitars and I must say that sometimes their cooperation and playing has almost classic heavy metal roots, what only makes „Parvzya” more interesting. I guess that the die hard black metal maniacs, who hail „Under the Funeral Moon” only, will walk away immediately now, but who cares? This is not primitive bullshit album and I really think it has a bit of the classic metal influences, as while listening to the great guitar lead at the end of „May He Rot In Hell" I have heavy metal and bands like Accept in my mind.

And what about the beginning of "Nihil Esse" or the opening part of the title song? But „Parvzya" is also a huge amount of aggression and energy, which is raging already from the first song „The Wall of Phantom” - it is one damn fast, black metal kick in the ass, just as „Man Strikes, God Falls” for example also is. I must underline the fact that „Parvzya" is varied and not one dimensional, it’s very dynamic album and so together with these ruthless tracks, there are also some more atmospheric, slower and more melodic ones and together they all make „Parvzya" an incredible listening experience. Personally I like both kinds of Mastiphal playing, if it's the mentioned "Nihil Esse" or the title song's beginning, which is almost like a ballad he, he (luckily it quickly evolves and speeds up) or whatever else, I always enjoyed the music. Another thing I must write about are the guitar leads. Man, I'm not an expert, but I do fuckin like those solos.

And the production... „Parvzya" was recorded in Polish studios and the sound is clean, professional, but also heavy and extreme. The final mix and mastering were done at Necromorbus, by Sverker Widgren, man who's a vocalist in one of my favourite bands, Demonical. Can it be any better he, he? Hmm, I only don't like the triggered drums that much, but I can live with it. So, all in all I listen to „Parvzya” with huge satisfaction and pleasure, glad that Flauros and Cimeris have reunited. It was worth and the album is much above my expectations. I do think this CD or LP must be in everyone's collection, otherwise go to hell!