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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.