Chuck Schuldiner Project

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Vspolokh - Помре

"In mainstream literature, the anti-hero dies - but in the Ural one, everyone dies." - so suggests one Ural literary researcher. The influence of this very notion can be found throughout Помре, the second record from Russian black metallers Vspolokh. Their first full length in a decade, this is a masterful record, full of transcendent atmospheres and a sense that we are all gradually being dragged back to hell. The sheer devastation unfolded here is a treasure to pick apart and indicative of just how good the band has become.

There is a sort of grim elegance to what Vspolokh have done here, a sense of misery that grinds forward with every passing track. The band has found a way to evoke the misery of Mother Russia but couches it in a sense of its grandeur. This is an album that challenges the listener, building on the distinctly Russian branch of the genre and fascinating with devastating rhythms and weirdly rich arrangements. The sense of groove that permeates some of these songs is entrancing and speaks to the bands ability to craft something that borders on the transcendent. It makes for elegant listening you know you'll get lost in.

Помре is a thriller - simple as that. The band has found new and unique ways to charm listeners throughout their growth as a band and now as they delve into ever bleaker pastures the magic stays with them. This is a band who understand the devastating and evil nature of the genre. It's the sort of thing that sticks with a man, keeping them up at night wondering at the vast glory of what black metal can be. Помре is a thrilling release and well worth the wait. Who knows what these blackened mystics will churn up next.

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