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Pretty mediocre early work from a great artist - 52%

Noktorn, October 30th, 2009

I suppose this is a mandatory release for fans of Lutomysl or eastern European black metal in general (some of the most dangerously region-attached people since the third Reich), but for black metal fans as a whole? Not really; this compilation of Profane Solitude's demos is mostly useful as a precursor to the much more mature and exciting work that Pavel would do with Lutomysl, but on its own in tends to have enough flaws to make it a questionable purchase. Now, Lutomysl I can absolutely get behind; certain albums such as 'Catharsis' are easily some of the best modern black metal releases I've ever heard. 'Пробуждение в пустоте', though, just tends to come off as immature and half-formed, which isn't great when numerous other eastern European black metal bands were creating amazing work even at the demo level.

The beginning demo is the less interesting of the two; it's a primitive, punky style of melodic black metal that has a lot in common with Absurd and other such material but without as much of the charm. The tracks have a bad tendency to be rather haphazard riff slideshows without any unifying themes apart from all the riffs being in the same general scale, so the tracks tend to blaze around in a circle, angry but without any real point to them. It's perfectly listenable but under no circumstance exciting. The second demo, which composes most of this compilation's running time, fairs better: much like a primitive Dub Buk minus the keyboards, the music on this side acquaints itself with sets of droning Slavic riffs sans the punk of the previous demo and does a lot better as a result. While the songs are still riff slideshows, the composition of the individual riffs and their interactions with each other are much more interesting to listen to. Much of the material on this demo is entirely predictable, but in a rather satisfying way; those acquainted with the Slavic black metal sound certainly know what to expect.

The overall vibe one gets from this release is one of primitivity and only marginal professionalism. Like a lot of early Slavic material, the instrumental skill is haphazard, with audible errors on guitar being fairly common, and the strained, over-distorted production gives the whole thing a distinct bedroom quality that isn't great, particularly in the oversaturated, digital guitar tone. Profane Solitude's music tends to fall to the same problems which plague most one-man bands: the music is pretty one-dimensional and lacks variation within individual parts, coming off as just big blocks labeled 'IDEA, IDEA' sitting next to each other rather than a streamlined, flowing style of composition. This is pretty weird considering how interesting Lutomysl's music would come to be, but I guess that's why these are demos.

This is very comparable to Lucifugum's 'Gates Of Nocticula': a mediocre early release from a band that would come to be great down the road. If you're particularly infatuated with any and all occurrences of the Slavic BM style, you might as well track this down, but it's overall very unnecessary and doesn't communicate anything that isn't more succinctly and professionally said by 'Misyac Pomsty', 'Goat Horns', or 'On The Sortilege Of Christianity'.