Tuesday 7 November 2023

Anarchos / Morbid Stench - Ghospels of Necromancy

ANARCHOS / MORBID STENCH - Ghospels of Necromancy (BLOOD HARVEST - 7"EP 2020)

New split 7” vinyl joined my collection, so I am about to share some thoughts on the music. “Ghospels of Necromancy” was unleashed from the Blood Harvest Records abyss and as far as I remember, this label always puts out great music and great bands. This split is another good example, indeed. 

I’ve started by listening to Anarchos. It’s one of those bands, whose name have been popping up here and there, but I never gave a chance to them. And from what I can hear on this split, it is absolutely shame that I missed them earlier. They come up with a song titled “Grotesque Perversity” plus a Slaughter cover, and damn, this is one tasty motherfuckin’ old school death metal. Anarchos are Dutch and this can be the most obvious comparison I could make (along with early Morgoth), if I wanted to describe their music. It's just a nasty, dark, vicious sounding death metal filled with powerful, mid-tempo riffs and killer, ghoulish growls. I know it’s hard to judge a band from one song only, but “Grotesque Perversity” makes me thirsty for more. 

And then Morbid Stench. Well, I am a fan of this band, for sure, both albums they released are absolutely fantastic. And “Brethren Accuser” shows that Morbid Stench is unstoppable beast. What you will find here are pounding, chunky death / doom riffs in a bit more mid-paced tempo, so don’t expect to be overwhelmed by utterly slow, doomy heaviness. I still think that they walk a similar path to Hooded Menace on their recent records, in contrary to Finns early albums, which were just slooooww and dooom. There’s also a bit of melody, including a nice Swedish-like harmonious pattern, the production is harsh, but it fits well that sort of music and its atmosphere... so, I have nothing more to desire, Morbid Stench doesn’t disappoint. 

Verdict: 75/100

Sznur - Ludzina

SZNUR - Ludzina (Godz ov War - CD 2023)

I must confess that for some time I have been deliberately trying to avoid new bands of the Polish black metal scene. That “scene” has become very irritating and created some trends, which I can’t follow. And a lot of the music I checked was just not good and even band names became stupid here. I’m not gonna lie - Sznur has also been among that group of bands, which I did not care for, I didn’t ever bother to check their music. Even when they e-mailed me a couple of years ago about their second album I didn’t reply. But hey, I just got their newest CD Ludzina” for review from Godz ov War! So, what should I do with this fact? Reluctantly, I sat down to listen to this album. And well, I would love to say how much I hate it and how big pile of shit it is, but I could not do it. Sznur surprised me positively and I like “Ludzina”. Maybe because it reminds Odraza’s “Esperalem tkane in many ways... I suppose there’s just the same great quality, so maybe I was too ignorant towards Sznur... well, it’s too late to change the past anyway. But I am glad that I got a chance to hear this album. 

Since I don't know any of Sznur's previous achievements, I won't compare "Ludzinawith previous albums, let alone write about whether the band made any progress, or if the musical style evolved through these four albums at all. I listen to this CD with completely fresh approach and, well, I admit that it's a pretty good stuff. More so, with each subsequent listen I like it more and more. WTF? How come? Well, I already mentioned that it reminds me Odraza and "Ludzina” is a bit like “Esperalem tkane - I still like “Esperalem...” a lot, so that’s a good comparison and recommendation. But more importantly, Sznur plays almost classic black metal here. Of course, it is a well-produced album, so it does not have a primitive character and necro feel of old black metal records. But it is still very traditional sounding black metal, with its fierce riffage, some of which would easily end on many Norwegian black metal albums (take the opening riffs from “Dwóch or “Stosunek” as some of the best examples). And that’s good, because one of the most annoying things about the current black metal scene from Poland is its need to sound “avant’fuckin’garde” or progressive – which just means lame and shit. So, it’s refreshing to hear just guitars, bass and drums and some good, aggressive, nasty riffs. At the same time, there’s something unique about that music, you can easily tell that it’s a Polish band – not only for the Polish lyrics, but maybe it’s the atmosphere of the music that leads me to that conclusion? I don’t know. 

I need to point out also how catchy this music is, how memorable are some of these riffs – which is cool, because it doesn’t take anything from this music’s aggression and viciousness. It's often fast, but diversity is also one of the key factors why “Ludzina” is such a great album. And again, that crisp production is brilliant. Remember though that it seems like you need to approach Sznur with a good sense of dark humor and distance. The album artwork may be awful, but it correspondents well with the album title and probably also with the loath for humans that the band members have. Lyrics are also provoking and often blasphemous (holy water from the cunt, we drink straight from the toilet! LOL) but they also have that humoristic feel. I've read some die-hard metallers are giving Sznur a bit of hate for it, but who cares... For them even Defekt Muzgó (an old Polish punk band) is an offence. Who cares. For me, it turned out to be a great positive surprise. I know that I was maybe too ignorant for Sznur and maybe unnecessarily placed them in the same box with a lot of other Polish black metal shit from the recent years. My fault, but it doesn’t matter. With this review of “Ludzina” I admit my mistake. 

Verdict: 80/100