Kozeljnik - Deeper The Fall
Paragon Records
Black Metal
6 songs (41:46)
Release year: 2010
Paragon Records
Reviewed by Kyle

Yet another project from the overflowing minds of the members of The Stone and May Result, Kozeljnik is further evidence that the talented musicians responsible for two of my favorite black metal albums of the 21st century (The Stone’s Magla and Umro albums) may make up for at least half of Serbia’s black metal scene. Deeper the Fall, Kozeljnik’s latest album, is the first I’ve heard from the band (they also have a debut LP and an EP under their belt), and what an impressive album it is; the two members of Kozeljnik adopt obvious traits from May Result and The Stone - the drumming and guitar work in particular feel quite familiar – but there is definitely a bit of black ‘n’ roll present, making for an atmosphere that feels somewhat like early Burzum mixed with modern Satyricion, with perhaps a touch of Slayer. The end result is almost as good as you could expect such a concoction to be.

Kozeljnik is the responsibility of Marko “Kozeljnik” Jerkovic and L.G.; the latter is on drum duty, while the former takes care of, well, everything else. Essentially this is a solo project from Marko, but on Deeper the Fall, things feel more like they were performed by a full-fledged band. The music is incredibly diverse; L.G. makes full use of his kit, frequently altering between thrash-style drumming, blast beats, and slower, more atmospheric rhythms, while Marko shows that he specializes in big, big riffs. Much like with The Stone, the guitar work here constantly fluctuates between octaves and styles, sneaking in arpeggiated minor chords during long tremolo runs, with lesser minor chords littered all over the place. This makes for music that, while not necessarily bleak, is certainly entertaining, and at times even a bit unsettling. Helping in that regard are the masterful lyrics, here performed in English; the dark poetry afoot primarily deals with death, and discusses it in a way that suggest that it’s far beyond human understanding, and a more terrifying concept than we could possibly conceive. Unfortunately, the vocals are simply not very good here; Marko’s voice is over-the-top to the point where it’s almost grating (but not in a Dani Filth sort of way; Marko’s style is loud, raspy and rather drunken), though when he performs the occasionally clean vocal – in a style that is somewhat reminiscent to Hammerheart-era Quorthon - he’s a bit more bearable.

Every song on Deeper the Fall is different from the others; whether it be the black ‘n’ roll groove of ThetruthisDeath, the straightforward attack of The All-Consuming, or the atmospheric gloom of the tile track, Kozeljnik always treats you with something new around every turn, and the album doesn’t come close to growing old by the time it ends at around forty-two minutes in, which seems to be just the right amount of running time. However, this blend of styles doesn’t feel like it’s quite been perfected yet; As much as I love The Stone, Kozeljnik sounds a little too much like that band, and though Deeper the Fall isn’t deprived of originality, it feels like the band lacks a separate identity from Marko and L.G.’s other projects at this point. In addition, certain songs don’t flow well as others, and tracks occasionally sound more like a random string of great ideas rather than a cohesive piece of music. However, this doesn’t mean that if you’re a fan of The Stone you should deprive yourself of the Kozeljnik experience. Deeper the Fall is a great album that’s brimming with talent and personality, and though it has its fair share of flaws, it’s still (ironically) teeming with life in a scene overflowing with unoriginality and mediocrity. I wholeheartedly recommend this album for just about any breed of black metal fan.

Killing Songs :
ThetruthisDeath., Breeding the Apocalypse
Kyle quoted 80 / 100
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