Pardon, you what? Yep metal often helps with learning about language and first up its Latin time and Absque Cor which translates I believe to ‘without heart.’ That’s a misnomer though as there is plenty of heart on display on the four tracks from this Polish artist Speaking of Polish now it seems the album title means ‘Wanderings End Shamefully’ hmm caught in the woods with your pants down? Oh I really do not know. Let’s stick with some facts. Well there’s not a huge amount of them here either apart from the fact that this is a debut release by a guitarist and vocalist called Vos.
So one man black metal this is and the 4 tracks have a running time of just over half an hour in total and plenty going on in them. Opener ‘Jeden księżyc wciąż wskazuje’ is possibly a song about the moon and starts off straight away with instruments all coming in together and a melody that strikes as pure depressive and suicidal blackness. I was instantly alert at the strong bass definition and tortured slow guitar melody here with drums booming in the background and sat waiting for vocals to appear. This they do rough, raw and loud with a sense of jubilation as much as hate amongst them, proud and strident. The instruments surge along with them and a guitar digs in deep. Melody is fantastically focused and it’s obvious this is really quite impressive stuff. There’s plenty of choppy and churning riffs as this grits in and gets all the more triumphant, thoughts of depressiveness gone. I am reminded a bit of the churn of bands such as Furia within the Polish scene and this is as equally multi-faceted and interesting. By chance I have just stumbles across an official video for second number ‘To co w człowieku nieuniknione’ (That which is inevitable in man) and it helps illustrate the poetic side of an artist with plenty of ideas from an acoustic opening with almost jazz laden drumming origins to fast and feudal blackness that has plenty of depth about it. I love the way the snares clatter like sticks being bounced on china in it and the air of mystery in whatever is being sung about. The acoustic parts are gorgeous too perfectly melding perfectly with the videos imagery.
The savage start of ‘Zdecyduj więc sam, którą wybierzesz drogę’ calls on the listener to choose what route to take and it reminds a fair bit of olden Enslaved and should certainly get lovers of the band banging heads with its furious clamour. Some sudden pinging guitar sounds give this even greater definition and it rages admirably before flirting with slower dream-like hallucinatory repetitive instrumental patterns and then charging forward once more. Watch out for the beefy death grunt which is perfectly placed in the midst of the fury too. Nihilism is at the core of last number ‘Do niezbawienia’ a song for failure but there’s little of that in this incredibly impressive and understated debut album. Hopefully this won’t be the last we hear from Vos and as far as the 6 recent discs that turned up from Godz Ov War Productions are concerned my pick was a definite winner.
(8/10 Pete Woods)