Serbia is not particularly well known to the wider metal community for it extreme metal scene, but make no mistake, buried within the underground there are some real gems. All My Sins are one such gem and this is their debut full length, which I have to be honest surprised me with its professionalism and musicianship. However, it is worth perhaps noting that this is not a new band and they have actually been going since the turn of the millennium and have released a couple of demos and an EP. Each of these releases has been inspired by the spiritual and cultural heritage of their homeland and has focussed on a particular mythological entity.
Following a prolonged period of absence, the two original founder members Nav Cosmos and V reconvened in 2016 and began work on the Lunar/Solar EP, this time concentrating on the sky, exploring concepts of “vanishing, going beyond and dying”. That brings us to the current release ‘Pra Sila – Vukov Totem’, which roughly translates to “The Primordial Force of the Wolf’s Totem” with the album conceptually dedicated to the wolf.
I’m deliberately not going to get into discussing the mythological theme-ology of these releases any further – If it sounds like your thing, then have a dig around and I’m sure you’ll find it interesting.
Anyway, before I get sidelined any further, what’s the music like? I’m going to resist the temptation to dissect the album track by track as I think it is better considered as a whole. This is a very accomplished release. There is a crystal clear production allowing the subtleties and nuances of the music to be fully appreciated.
The music has its roots firmly planted in the Scandinavian black metal sound with galloping rhythms, incisive guitars and abrasive vocals, but as the album progresses several other elements reveal themselves. At times sweeping, epic melodies come to the fore while at others pagan melodies and even latent punk elements manifest themselves creating an album with real atmosphere and intent.
Clocking in at nearly an hour, the eight tracks feed off each other symbiotically creating an elegantly layered piece of work culminating in the magnificent ‘Konačna Ravnodnevica (Čin Drugi)’.
I have to admit that I hung onto this before submitting the review to see what my opinion would be after repeated listens…….At this point it is getting better and better with each listen and that probably tell you all your need to know.
(8.5/10 Andy Pountney)