ZMORA - Wieczna ciemność i wieczne zimno (HAMMERBOLT Productions - CD 2015)
I’m really glad to admit that in my opinion the Polish black metal scene has risen to one of the best and most diverse, even in the whole fuckin (under)world. And the quality of bands here is better and better. This is why my expectations towards every new band and new release are also big... what is a double edged sword I guess, as it’s just impossible to like every single recording and not every band will be able to impress. When speaking of Zmora, band from Poznan, this is the first time I have a chance to listen to their music. I had no chance to hear the demo or “Popioły tego świata”, which was the debut album… and I also don’t know anything about this project, even the band members are unknown. But I’ve received “Wieczna ciemność i wieczne zimno” and started playing it almost instantly, hoping to hear some of the best Polish black metal. And well… after some spins I must say that my feelings towards Zmora are just mixed. I don’t know... it just doesn’t click as it should and while there are some things on the album, which I like, at the same time some other I don’t. So, definitely this is far from being perfect and surely not an album that I’m really pleased with.
What’s the problem then? Well, from the purely musical side, I guess “Wieczna ciemność i wieczne zimno” is not that bad. It’s slow, melancholic, very raw and minimalistic black metal, which some people will compare to Burzum, some other to certain French black metal projects... Doesn’t matter. Zmora have some really good riffs here, some good sounding songs and generally they were able to create that cold, grim and hateful atmosphere quite well. But it’s a long album, so I do admit also that after a while I get pretty bored with this quite one dimensional playing. Of course this music has to have that sort of hypnotizing feeling, but it needs also something what would impress me, surely more than what Zmora has to offer. On the better side, even though the style is quite minimalistic and harsh as fuck, Zmora has some truly possessing melodies, some good keyboard backgrounds, some very memorable, melancholic tunes…
But now about what I don’t like in “Wieczna ciemność i wieczne zimno”… The monotony is one thing – and I can even live with it... but damn, the vocals are just weak. I have no idea who stands behind this project and who’s responsible for the vocals, but this dude have no guts to do it properly. He shrieks like some drunkard or fuckin frog, sometimes without even an idea how to make a proper arrangements. And for me, these vocals just ruin the whole music, you know? I wouldn’t maybe make such a big fuzz about it, if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s just a real shame and a disappointment. Especially as mentioned before, majority of the music here is not bad and it mostly sounds solid. Sometimes better, sometimes worse, but generally there’s quite a lot of good and interesting music to be heard, especially when Zmora goes that more melancholic and sorrowful path. Ah, take a listen to the opening theme for “Szum martwych drzew”, “Dzikie jęki, zimne cienie” or “Żałobna liturgia nocy”, which have some real nice fragments. More so, production wise “Wieczna ciemność i wieczne zimno” is very decent, so I can only imagine how much better this album would be if the vocals were different. I am sure that personally I would like it way more. As it is, I cannot consider it to be any better than just a mediocre. And also easily forgettable, I am afraid.
Standout tracks: “Dzikie jęki, zimne cienie”, “Żałobna liturgia nocy”
Final rate: 55/100