Godz Ov War don’t only teach us about music from Poland but also necessitate a bit of a crash course in linguistics as well. I was drawn to this album after a box of discs turned up from the label and plonked it on my review pile digging into the obscure black metal within as well as trying to find some meaning about it all. First lesson is the name, which means she-wolf and drew me towards a 1983 film by director Marek Piestrak of the same name. I haven’t watched it yet but certainly intend to track it down as it appears to be just the sort of shaggy dog story that will be right up my lycanthropic alley. As for the band well, this is a duo comprising of Louve-all instruments & Nidhogg- vocal, lyrics. They are relatively new having released two singles since last year and this is their debut full length album. I can’t see anything that ties them to any other groups within the Polish scene but that’s fine as this is definitely a curio in its own right.
Copy and paste at the ready we start with a slow beat and a doom-laden plod on ‘Na Przeklętej Ziemi’ entering this ‘cursed earth’ in a mysterious and ponderous fashion. Genre gradually unveils itself after this misnomer with an abrupt piercing scream and a full breakneck speed of clattering primitive blackness. I obviously cannot make out the words but Nidhogg does a remarkable job of rasping and yapping his way through his parts, high in the mix and piercing the listener like thorns with the guitars whiplashing away behind them. All too quickly its over but the next charge is not far away as the fiery tempest of Ego Memini Inferno blazes and batters away. Melody entwines with hostility and the rapid guitar strumming draws you in as the vocals come back and spit out diseased fury and rancour. A stomping sort of chorus infects with words spat out and then a guitar solo twists and turns before strange groans and howls bring a tinge of horror. It really is feral and sounds like you are being attacked by hideous wolverine terrors in the night as they feast on your throat and innards. The self-titled Wilczyca has a groove and beat that’s immediate and punkish whilst Nidhogg seemingly starts transforming from man to beast in the deep forests. Yes, there are howls from the children of the night and what strange and beguiling music they make.
Louve takes over completely and limbers off in search of prey with ‘Burza’ a ‘storm’ of trembling tremolo picking flight, urgent and full of flurrying, foot-stomping bravado. A touch of doom seeps in and crafts further atmosphere but despite the length of things you are drawn in and almost forget this is an instrumental. ‘Rok pierwszy’ has some neat backing vocal chants and charges going for stealth with hypnotism behind its slower melody before a near DSBM maudlin flow works over the longest track Przyjdź a slow and lugubrious, gloomy sojourn near-instrumental where the only words necessary are “In nomine dei nostri Satanas Luciferi excelsi.” There’s no silver bullet dispatch here but the short album of just over half an hour descends into dripping water in a cave and a sense of abandonment as perhaps our fiendish underworld denizen licks its wounds after being stalked through the woods. It is left for Proch to settle the ‘dust’ at the end of this fable via strange sounds and noises thus culminating the mysterious and highly atmospheric tale for now. Just 3 months after deliverance however it would appear that this metamorphosis has seen a new moon once more with new album Horda already having been released.
(8/10 Pete Woods)