Zmiarcviely - Cornaje Polymia
Self released
Black Metal
4 songs (17'20")
Release year: 2021
Reviewed by Alex

Growing up in Ukraine I always thought that neighboring Belarus also uses Cyrillic alphabet, so the moniker for one man Belarussian outfit Zmiarcviely is a little surprising. I mean I can easily translate it as something akin to Already Dead, but to see it spelled this way is weird. Whatever the spelling issues are for Zmiarcviely its one and only (so far) EP called Cornaje Polymia (translated as Black Flame) is a pretty interesting piece of orthodox, claustrophobic and a tad bit folky black metal.

I and II actually promise things to be way too brief and concise. I is an intro sounding almost like a bagpipe. II goes on in an instrumental fashion as well, layering out feelings both ancient and buoyant, with a folk melody creeping in and percussion occupying frequencies high and low, but doing it decidedly lo-fi. Cymbals are rustling pots & pans on the ceiling hooks and snares are fireworks going somewhere in the distance. I and II decidedly get you in the mood and serve a purpose.

The opening of III is where Zmiarcviely gets the most folk, but then the material finally shifts to significantly more blackened in nature. Rapid beats, vocals coming from the depth of a fire pit (and singing in Russian if I am not mistaken), with some synths hiding behind harshness and playing lurking melody, Zmiarcviely still sounds distorted and lo-fi, but this is surprisingly audible, actually captivates and provides … a very hopeful feeling, especially on a crisp sunny spring day.

IV tends to be more black rock, a little uglier and more Khold-like, and descent is now complete. IV is the most torturous of tracks on Cornaje Polymia, and it devolves into dejected and tired church organ at the very end, so you start thinking if the ominous cover art with corpses hung around a wheel of punishment and execution is more what the EP is about. Yet again the feeling of fleeting optimism doesn’t let go. Whichever feelings your mind conjures, Cornaje Polymia turned out to be a surprisingly good listening for an act totally unknown, without past and possibly future.

Killing Songs :
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