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Favoured biotope: underground - 80%

Felix 1666, June 12th, 2021

Believe it or not, dear hates of modernity, but sometimes YouTube can make your life better. I made this experience. A good friend of mine recommended me to listen to Propast, a band from the deepest Serbian underground. They just published one EP (with a playtime of more than 30 minutes) during their existence so far. That’s not much for a band formed in 2007. However, in terms of quality, this release is almost a king. It shows definitely why the underground constitutes the most exciting biotope of the global metal scene. There is so much creativity, I am always amazed anew.

Propast play pure, fast black metal. Certainly, their EP is no feast for high fidelity lovers, but the relatively thin mix does not hurt the overall impression. Quite the opposite, the guys from the Serbian capital express the spirit of the genre by using exactly this approach. It is effective, misanthropic and characterized by its desire to reduce to the essentials. Moreover, the slightly flat guitars provide the perfect frame for the sporadic wolfish howls of the lead vocalist to shine in full glory.

The design of the guitar lines is pretty minimalistic and they are often accompanied by the very present double bass. During the first, more or less calm part of “Čeljad Kaljuge”, the bass drums are almost too fast for the snare and the complete song. Nevertheless, the result sounds coherent, probably because of the fact that the musical approach goes hand in hand with the technical implementation. This is no frills black metal that reveals its hostile-to-mankind-soul right from the beginning. It is music one can listen and feel. It spreads an adequate atmosphere and it has its own character.

The mighty intro and the intermezzo of the Graveland cover “Thurisaz” delivers the only pompous moments of an EP that does not want to be nominated for an originality award. It just wants to be an album for convinced black metal maniacs and it lives up to this intention. The singer (who is also responsible for bass and guitar, he seems to be multi-talented… I can’t even play the flute) deserves special merits. He sounds like a wounded and hunted animal. Inter alia this feature makes “…u Plamenu” and the other songs to something special, even though there is no typical Eastern component in the tracks. The compositions of Propast could also originate from France or from the UK. Anyway, this is just great music, not perfect or unique, but authentic, furious and performed with devilish heart and soul.

Dragged into the abyss! - 90%

JJM1, March 30th, 2014

From one one of Europe's oldest cities, namely Belgrade, comes pure Serbian darkness with Propast's first EP, Věstnik Preispodnji. This pro-done five track tape comes limited to just 198 copies (mine is #50), and with a supreme occult cover artwork, fantastic layout and a logo sticker included; I can only assume these will sell out fast once word spreads on this one.

Vavedenje Preispodnje, initiates the tape with a stunningly ominous ambient intro, that has a true sense of impending doom, when after two minutes, ...u Plamenu, explodes out of my speakers, unleashing all-out hell with devastating double bass drums, wicked tremolo-picked guitar riffs, and hellish demonic shrieks of unadulterated malice. ...u Plamenu is a complete eye opener, and instantly memorable song and one that had the ability to perk me up within seconds of it taking off. Čarna Pismena hardly relents either, its very similar, but what becomes vividly obvious at this point is that Propast focuses in on heavily tight drum and guitar arrangements, which is otherwise not really seen in this rawer style of black metal.

Čeljad Kaljuge is slightly slower at first, but shifts to faster galloping paces throughout its duration, and back to the mid-paced speeds too, and with catchy riffs aplenty, it stands its ground as another enormous entry on this tape. Thurisaz, a cover of the Graveland classic, closes out the tape in a stylish fashion, in fact I'd even say its better simply because of how vastly better the musicianship is compared to the original duo that recorded it in the late 90's.

Although just thirty one minutes long, Věstnik Preispodnji, is way above average, and honestly one of the best black metal recordings I've heard in recent memory. I could easily see this band triumphantly leading the Serbian scene into relevance, as off the top of my head I can't recall ever hearing a black metal band from Serbia before.

As I already said, the tape is limited, so act fast. I find little fault with this one and I am overly excited to see what they come up with next. Head over to their, BANDCAMP, to hear this recording as well as procuring a copy for yourself.

Originally wrote for, Lunar Hypnosis:

Damn good barbaric Slavic black metal. - 87%

Sigillum_Dei_Ameth, February 15th, 2014

Kind of a weird coincidence how this review came about; not to go too much into detail but I just so happened to be viewing the extreme metal label, Misanthropic Intolerance, web-store and as soon as I clicked out of that page and checked my e-mail, I get a review request from the band Propast to start getting the word out and this being one of them. So with that out of the way, I shall now get into this band which you will have to forgive me if I say the wrong thing because folks, I'll be honest; extreme metal/black metal really fucking bores me in 2014. I've been into this kind of music since I was freakin' 14/15 back in the mid-90's when the flames of the 2nd wave died I've heard, and seen a lot of shit come and go. And while you do have the handful of select bands that are keeping the underground interesting (Deathspell Omega, Inquisition, Portal, Aevangelist, The Ruins of Beverast, Beastmilk, Power Trip, Esoterica (US Black Metal/Ambient act), Ashencult; just to give you some examples of bands that are worth your time), let's face it, there is a massive glut of pure grade-A shit that basically is still made by a bunch of doofuses who still think it's 1995 and the entire genre of black metal has not progressed since "In The Nightshade Eclipse" or are basically still worshiping that album and are hopelessly stuck in the fucking past.

Thankfully Propast is NOT one of said doofus acts.

If anything Propast is really a bit of a throwback(NOT worship, big difference) to where Black Metal was still a raw, raging beast from the inferno is was spawned from. Not to say that raw black metal doesn't exist in 2014, but Propast really nails it to a T with the raw emotion and feel of those unsung classics from the 90's. Yes it is raw, but it's also very fucking well-produced which is a happy medium for fans and also very hard to do considering what genre we are discussing here. Yes there are hints of Vlad Tepes, Horna, Graveland(hell they even do a cover from their ever infamous "Following The Voice Of Blood" LP), but there are some other modern influences I hear as well such as Drudkh and Hunok (again at least that is what I hear, the band's influences may differ.) which again with the combo of old and classic with new and modern you have the clarity of modern-day technology to really get a grasp on the raw misanthropic nature of Propast's music.

Propast's "Věstnik Preispodnji" E.P. starts off with an ambient-like intro "Vavedenje Preispodnje " that sounds as much as a horde of Slavic warriors as much as it does as Ambient/Electronic duo American act Yellow Swans.....which then rips right into the unholy firestorm trinity of "...u Plamenu," "Čarna Pismena," and " Čeljad Kaljuge." Here they have all the necessary implements needed to create the wall of raw-yet DEFINED black metal songs; tremolo guitar picking, crashing cymbals, double-bass parts, etc. The best part I would say is focus on the guitars and the vocals. The drums, while good in their own right and create the driving force, but those vocals and guitar melodies really push the music over that edge in order to experience that raw emotion/feel of the music. Oh and yes before I forget, the Graveland cover is fucking excellent. Hell they made a Graveland song more clearer and fucking better than Graveland themselves and I worshiped the hell out of Graveland way back when Graveland was worth a damn. The only downside to this is that it's only 5 songs, where it does leave me craving more of as far as what else this band is possibly capable of. But with all of this said, if Propast were to keep releasing music of this quality and possibly get to a bigger label like Hells Headbangers or Nuclear War Now! they would definitely become more of a commodity at least for not just American audiences but worldwide audiences with the well-known distribution those labels are known for.

Are they worth checking out on their Bandcamp page and forking over money for a limited edition E.P. on cassette? Yes, yes, and fucking A right yes! This is GOOD, quality raw black metal.