FURIA - Marzannie, Królowej Polski (PAGAN Records - CD 2012)
Furia... Well, I suppose that if you’ve been looking through my reviews – and maybe you’ll also familiar with my old fanzine – then you probably know how much I like this band. It truly is my favourite black metal band from Poland, one whose recordings I admire ever since I got the first demo “I Spokój” back in 2004 and whose “Martwa Polska Jesień” is probably my favourite Polish black metal album of all time… well, at least along with Behemoth’s “Grom”. But every new release from Furia is a great event and a guarantee of great experiences and when I first heard the annunciations for the “Marzannie, Królowej Polski”, third full length CD, I had shivers. Man, the expectations were high obviously and I couldn’t wait to get this album in my hands. Which I finally did of corpse, but as you can see I write this review quite late, five months after the premiere of this album. it’s not that ”Marzannie, Królowej Polski” has laid on the shelf for so long, I gave it many listens already, but somehow I just didn’t have an opportunity to review it, until now, when again I started to listen to this album.
First thing, which captured my attention is the production of “Marzannie, Królowej Polski”. Man, Furia has always been sounding great, but this definitely is their best sounding effort yet; one, which seems to have improved on everything. It is their most warm, organic sound; even if it is clean and transparent, it still has this cold and raw feeling and to some point it almost has a feeling of a band playing in the rehearsal room, as there’s some sort of reverb hearable. The drums are really perfectly recorded, I love snare drum’s sound especially, but also the guitar tone is excellent. Really, Nihil must have worked his ass off this time more than ever before, to capture the essence of his band in so excellent way.
But the production is not everything. The thing, which impressed me most, is the incredible songwriting on “Marzannie, Królowej Polski”. Man, I have a feeling like this is the most perfect and amazingly written of all Furia’s albums. OK, I may still consider “Martwa Polska Jesień” as a paragon example for their style, then “Grudzień Za Grudniem” was great, but maybe missed a little bit of something truly exceptional. But now “Marzannie, Królowej Polski” combines the elements of both albums and glue them together into one, wonderful piece. I think that this album is equally traditional as it is progressive. There will be many riffs, which will let you think of the good old Burzum for instance, but at the same time there are many parts, when the playing is different and would rather remind me post metal bands than classic Norwegian style. I mean, Furia – as always really – puts a lot of concentration on long, instrumental passages in the songs – to the point when the parts with vocals seem to be only an addition – and while the music remains deeply guitar based, the kind of riffs and the way they’re played and how are they arranged and structured into the songs remind me post metal quite often. I know that the tag of post black metal Isis or Pelican is not something, what probably Furia would be happy with, but really there are many parts, which will remind you this kind of playing. But let’s not forget about the likes of Burzum or Taake also hehe! The music builds slowly around one or more motives and creates a deep, involving and inspiring atmosphere, which – at least I can say so about myself – draws my attention like the light draws the attention of the moths in the night. I just cannot resist it, I cannot simply start doing something else when listening to “Marzannie, Królowej Polski” – I just have to swallow every sound and every song from this album and let myself get dragged into it. This music has almost hypnotising influence, if you know what I mean. And the band’s creativity seems to be at its peak, as I cannot imagine that Furia will be able to record something better than either “Marzannie, Królowej Polski” or “Martwa Polska Jesień” (I hope I’m wrong though!). But what else can I say when listening to such amazing songs as the untitled one, for instance, which makes an excellent impression with the way it builds the aura, with its riffing and arrangements?
But to make everything clear, “Marzannie, Królowej Polski” is not only about melancholic, post black metallish playing, there are also plenty of fast and relentless episodes, which will please the fans of the black metal genre fully – as an example I’ll put “Skądś do nikąd”, absolutely killer song, which at times takes us back into Ulver’s “Bergatt”, as for its atmosphere and everything else. All together I think that Furia perfectly fits into the category of bands like Dornenreich, Agalloch, Helrunar and such, even if not necessarily they play exactly the same. They definitely prove to be one of the most original black metal bands on the present scene and I can honestly say that you can recognise them right from the first song; if not for the riffs, then the awesome vocals by Nihil will definitely assure you what band you’re listening to. This guy’s voice is truly exceptional and one of a kind. He sounds like no one else, but that’s not just that… it’s also the way he sings and the way he arranges his parts make his voice truly unique. Plus of course the fact that all lyrics are in Polish! I cannot really imagine Furia having English written lyrics; it would get rid of a lot of character and specific aura in these vocals and the whole music. I cannot imagine songs like “Wodzenie” or “Kosi ta śmierć” with different type of vocals. I can only have some objections towards some lyrics of Nihil (or quasi poetry, as some call them), like the one for “Skądś do nikąd” (yeah, I can hear all the non Polish fans twisting their tongues in unsuccessful try to pronounce this title hehe!), which has nothing what would fit the usual black metal topics and is also terribly pointless… Anyway, I can live with that, they surely fit the music of Furia and make the band even more original in their approach, what’s good of corpse.
Standout tracks: „Wyjcie psy”, “Untitled”, “Kosi ta śmierć”, “Są to koła”
Final rate: 95/100