Chuck Schuldiner Project

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Pocc - Sing, Guslar

This is a really weird one. Some of you may know that I am a huge fan of the trad doom band Scald. Well as look would have it, Maxim and Ottar, the two main dudes from Scald were in a band called Pocc for years before Scald took off. They were all super young and it's super rough music - but it's the kind of metal that existed in the USSR as it started to come apart making it a really interesting, if rough hewn cultural document that I think anyone who is interested in the larger history of heavy music is going to find really interesting and want to dig in too - even if they aren't fans of what is possibly the best trad doom band of all time.

There hasn't been a ton of Pocc's material that has made its way onto turntables. There was a split with their stuff and the Scald record back in 2013, but it's been a while since we've heard from the band. This offering from Ordo MCM is built around that. It's an interesting historical document. A lot of it - to be completely honest isn't great. If you liked the Mantas demos that were a precursor to Death this is at best like the worst versions of that. That's not because Pocc is bad necessarily as much as they were dealing with terrible recording technology, shitty studios and microphones smuggled past the Iron Curtain. It's fascinating they managed to put together anything at all!

So yes - a lot of this sounds like teenagers banging around on second rate instruments, because it IS teenagers banging around on second rate instruments, but that's not the point. The point is that from this came true greatness. The point is that these were kids who in the face of an oppressive regime that could have had them killed decided what they really cared about was Manowar and that fucking no one would be able to take that form them. It makes for something that though it maybe ragged also is strangely compelling, speaking to a time forgot and a time that unleashed some fascinating art.

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