defyingDefying by name, and defying by nature.

This Polish band like to mix things up a little bit, and even though their combination of prog and heaviness provides quite a bit of interest, this lengthy EP (and the bands second release) also serves up a bit of a post-metal headache.

…”Post-metal”?…Yep, that’s right. Crushingly heavy riffs, with a side-order of arty stuff.

‘The Splinter Of Light We Misread’ fires off with all guns blazing. Intense riffs and growling vocals from guitarist Piotr Stępiński giving a death metal feel, and atmospheric leads from Rafał Warniełło bringing in a more black metal vibe on opening track ‘The Sunlight Recedes’.

A long mid-section however, comes dangerously close to putting a stop to the momentum, as an industrial ambiance featuring female vocals segues into the 2nd part of the song, bringing some powerful riffage and spindly leads into an effective piano refrain.

The droning atmospheres continue on ‘Till Shadow Is White’. Here, the random saxophone squeals start to test the patience, until the fiery chords bring to mind the steel-edged feel of 1349’s ‘Revelations of the Black Flame’.

‘Irreversible’ however, puts the sax to better use, and the lighter, cleaner feel works well with the sweeping strings. The song turns nasty with blasting drums and a stop/start arrangement, but as with the other tracks, the extended instrumental sections blur the sense of closure. An approach that may make you wonder which particular track you are listening to at any given time, thus we get  the post-metal “headache” mentioned earlier.

You see, the thing is…there’s nothing really wrong (musically speaking) with this EP at all, for the most part it hits all the right buttons, but it’s just too knowing…too confident in its own non-conformity.

Their version of Joy Division’s ‘New Dawn Fades’ at the end of the record is a case in point. A nifty little cover, but you get the impression that the track is just begging for wide-mouthed adulation and left-field respect, and unfortunately that feeling rather taints an otherwise potent slab of doomy metal.

(5.5/10 Stuart Carroll)