POGAVRANJEN - Sebi jesi meni nisi (ARACHNOPHOBIA Records LP 2015)
Bands from the Balkan region have never been in the centre of my attention and I sincerely doubt it will ever change, but from time to time something interesting comes also from this area. Here’s one Croatian band, which I think will make some turmoil around and get more recognition soon. They’re called Pogavranjen. I am spinning their second album “Sebi jesi meni nisi” released on vinyl through Arachnophobia Records and Musica Noir in just 300 copies quantity. And all I can say is that it’s very exciting and interesting record that surely should interest all listeners that like to hear more unconventional and untypical take on black metal.
This album is a classic type of “never judge the book by its cover” thing, as for sure the photograph on the front will not tell you anything about what sort of music we can expect from “Sebi jesi meni nisi”. This guy in huge glasses and fashionable beard, smoking cigarette, can say nothing and everything. And it would fit to many music styles, from rock to blues, jazz and sludge, but black metal – even one which is unconventional – would be one of my last guesses. Surprise, surprise then ha! Say what you want though, but Pogavranjen is damn good and intriguing black metal outfit, whose music is intense, sick and fuckin’ schizophrenic in the way the band mixes styles and different moods into one extreme, chaotic package. This album contains basically just four lengthy songs, of which three can be described as outbursts of maniacally fast and chaotic black metal spiced with avantgardish, unconventional flavour of something insane, sometimes progressive, sometimes bizarre, but fuckin intense and hard kicking. I like that dirty, possessed sound with the tempo that feels like unstoppable, furious cannonade, with torturous, sick and haunted screams (almost like on some earlier Anaal Nathrakh albums), a bit of electronic fills and maybe even a bit of melody, but served in very, very small dose, mostly buried in the overcoming chaos. “Jeziva suša” is the best example, with ten minutes of relentless and non-stoppable attack of fast and cacophonous black metal. And it may sound like noise to some, but there’s really awesome hypnotizing feeling to this song and even if they basically play the same shit over and over again in it, it works great anyway! Maybe it sometimes sounds like metal scratching in the steel factory, but damn, how powerful it is! All these three songs, two on side A and first one on side B are excellent.
The last song “Strigoi” is the only non fast song and something what I actually enjoyed the most. This song is 13 minutes of fantastic calm, melancholic black metal, with not even a bit of previously heard chaotic aggression, but with a lot of atmospheric parts, clean guitar tones and kind of quiet and tranquil playing, cleaner sounding vocals, etc. Sure, the aura can still quite disturbing, but it’s almost relaxing, fantastically sounding song, which has a good place after the previous three fast and harsh pieces.
All in all, I can only speak in positive words about Pogavranjen and “Sebi jesi meni nisi”. It’s very good album, really enjoyable music, with not even a single moment that I would not like. It’s complete record, you know? And the best thing is that I have no idea with which bands I could easily compare Pogavranjen to. No idea, really! Abigor maybe??!! Who cares. It’s great band for sure.
Standout track: “Strigoi”, “Ponoćni lov”
Final rate: 85/100