Okrütnik, Legion Antychrysta review (Ossuary Records 2020)

The debut album from Okrütnik resonates with equilibrium-tipping surety and sets an incredibly high standard for other bands to match.

Michał Dryjański (vocal), Eryk Kula (guitars), Szymon Garbarczyk (bass), and Grzegorz Drygas (drums) are Okrütnik, a Heavy Metal band making waves since its 2018 inception in Kotlin, Poland. Legion Antychrysta is a statement of their abilities, and it is a loud one.

“Sabat” sounds like it is happening in space with the tortured moaning of a giant creature emanating across the unimaginable distances. And then the music kicks in hard with a raging bass line and a medium tempo rhythm showing razor sharp thrash edges chipping in every few bars. The main lead break has a deep echo and a ripping intensity. The vocals sound very Black Metal to me, and it all pulls together into an integrated being. The title track is next, opening with a traditional heavy metal front and a 1980s homage in the guitar squeal. The vocals go breathless halfway through and by now we notice how unusual this music is, how different. It fosters the elements we seek in heavy music and Black Metal, and it pays tribute to the foundation of the form, but the combinations and permutations have not been heard before.

Every song is a new door and another surprise. The energy is indefatigable, and so is the creativity. The music is sometimes very controlled, as in “Portret Trumienny, a Na Grobach Kwiaty,” and other times it is bewildering – for example, “Noc Galicyjska.” I have laid some labels on the songs, but this band is not confined to a specific subgenre. The creativity of the compositions and the execution of the performances exist at a level not often seen. Recommended.

CDs, cassettes, and downloads can be picked up at the band’s Bandcamp page (link below).


Bandcamp, https://okrutnik.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/okrutnikofficial

YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3cAvYyvadWtsXZsqVuH4iQ

Band website, https://okrutnikkontakt.wixsite.com/okrutnik

Ossuary Records, http://ossuaryrecords.com/en/

Okrütnik, Legion Antychrysta review (Ossuary Records 2020)

Kira, Peccatum et Blasphemia review (Ossuary Records 2020)

Black Metal band Kira release their second album, Peccatum et Blasphemia.

From the Opoczno, Poland, Kira has quickly built a solid reputation in the heavy music world. Their first album, Ancient Lies, was very straight forward hardcore in its approach. Most songs were three minutes or so long (several shorter) so the musical ideas came in fierce bursts. On the new album, the concepts are somewhat larger and more fully developed, with more elements of doom. The songs are generally longer with a couple over the seven and eight minute mark, allowing for more latitude in composition variety and execution.

“The Fearful One” starts the set off with a wall of threat – a massive coordinated push to make way for the distinctive, demonic vocals. “In the Devil’s Embrace” is a grinding wheel that crushes you with its persistence. “Lord of Hallucinations” begins with a shriek and then opens the door to a Doom Metal clarifier. The song resolves in an absolute frenetic explosion. “Lucifer’s Herald” is yet another perspective with its chopping rhythm and tortured guitar lead.

Throughout the album stories are told in a classic Death and Black Metal style augmented by clever appropriations that are far ranging, from theatrical to sweeping orchestral movements to quieter moments. Songs like “One Gram of Your Soul” border on Funeral Doom while “Necroscience” sets a blistering pace. “Temple of Suffering” could have been written by Danny Elfman if he crossed over to the dark side and started composing Black Metal music. The occult and dark fantasy themes are interesting and engaging, complementing the music. This album will be high on my list for 2020 releases. Highly recommended.

Peccatum et Blasphemia is available now. You can get the album at Ossuary Records or Bandcamp (links below).


Band Bandcamp, https://kira666.bandcamp.com/

Band Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/KIRANAMELESS

Label, http://ossuaryrecords.com/en/

Kira, Peccatum et Blasphemia review (Ossuary Records 2020)

Divine Weep, The Omega Man review (Ossuary Records 2020)

Divine Weep releases another impressive metal album with The Omega Man, showing that the tradition is alive and growing.

There is strong force for death metal and heavy metal bands in Poland. You think first about Behemoth and Decapitated and Vader, and there are so many more. Divine Weep is another band that you should know about if you don’t already. Formed in the mid-90s, the group has seen a reigniting of its energy and passion in the last several years, releasing the album Tears of the Ages in 2016 and now The Omega Man. The current line-up is: Mateusz Drzewicz, vocals, Bartosz Kosacki and Dariusz Moroz on guitars, Janusz Grabowski on bass, and Dariusz Karpiesiuk, drums. The band’s music has changed somewhat over the years, as most bands do. The new album is very much in a classic heavy metal style, reminiscent of Dio and Judas Priest, maybe a little Iced Earth in there, too. Their sound is their own, though, make no mistake. Drzewicz’s voice is distinctive, and the guitar riffs and progressions are unique.

“Cold As Metal” starts the album with a growl and crunching riff upfront, leading into a fast, rolling hook. The song has all the elements that define the album – rapid guitars rhythms, precise drumming, blistering lead breaks, and a great stadium anthem line for fans to sing along: “Be cold as metal!” The next song, “Journeyman,” pushes and expands this basic structure, stretching the musical construction with more speed and clever shifts. The narrative tone of the songs tend along the lines of alienation, of being an outsider. Also betrayal. These ideas match the well what you hear from the instruments. There are a couple of slower songs, but mostly they are up-tempo, on the speed side of metal. The overall arc of the set is an updated, refreshing take on traditional metal. It did the trick for me. Recommended.

The Omega Man is out now and can be had in the usual places, notably Bandcamp where you can grab the download or CD. Listen to a sample first then go all the way. There are no regrets with Divine Weep.




Divine Weep, The Omega Man review (Ossuary Records 2020)