Niezgal - Stogn z niebyccia
Handful of Hate
Black Metal
6 songs (33'32")
Release year: 2018
Reviewed by Alex

The story setup with Niezgal could not have been any more black metal. The band comes from Belarus - practically the last communist dictatorship in Europe - but delivers lyrics in what I hear is Russian while writing their moniker and song titles in Polish (?), or something that looks Latin in alphabet but sounds Slavic anyway. The sadder mystics of Niezgal story go much further, unfortunately. Its guitarist, Pavel Shpak, committed suicide by hanging on the eve of New Years of 2016. However, the remaining band members worked unbelievably hard to collect all guitar tracks for Stogn z niebyccia, in order to remaster them and put out the album. And so Stogn z niebyccia exists, in a very limited 333 quantity edition. Only a few privileged individuals will be able to hear dead man playing. This is kvlt status, if there was one.

What those selected few will hear is a number of stogns, or moans, very much in Gorgorothian early raw black metal tradition, with pulsating bass, snare drum sounding like an upside empty can, and guitars occupying center stage, delivering mournful tremolos, minimal progression melodies, while constantly focusing on the grim approach. The vocals are raw and depraved as well, spewing vile, very much Pest like. These stogns can be steady and hypnotic (Dzie panuje smierc), after all when you have eternity in front of you why rush anywhere, or almost doomy in their gate (Embrijony ciemry), depressive, fixated as in blackened shoegaze (Suicyd), or a little faster (Viartannie v bahnu), but just as depraved. It is interesting to hear how throughout songs, Niezgal tries to find strength, to grow more melodic towards songs’ endings, and even maybe to find courage to subtly (or maybe even not so subtly) change the tone to more hopeful. Never matter, the funk prevails, the ominous feeling persists, and drilling penetrating guitars are all responsible for the outcome.

Steady blasting whirls (Sustreniemsia u pekle), double bass pummeling (Dzie panuje smierc), stomping around a few notes (Suicyd), Niezgal is true black metal, in spirit mainly, without resorting to unlistenable production or lo-fi gimmicks. Pavel lives on through his music, thanks to his former band mates and Handful of Hate label. The album is being released on Dec 30, 2018, three years anniversary of Pavel's departure. There is a saying in Russian, about dead people you say something nice, or say nothing at all. Stogn z niebyccia is a strong enough album that I wouldn't have to say nothing.

Killing Songs :
Alex quoted 78 / 100
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