Gorycz craft a grim and sprawling opus with their debut full-length record, Piach.
Comprised of former and current members of Aeon (PL) and Non Opus Dei, this Polish quartet use their collective backgrounds in experimental black metal to their advantage and create a punishing, unique sound. On their 36-minute, six-track debut, Gorycz combine elements of dissonant black metal, sludge and post-metal into a bleak and battering sonic assault.
Deep, rumbling bass lines and muscular drumming bring the record to life on opening track “Ziemia”. This steady and unnerving groove invites lurching, haunting melodies to rear their head and resonate above this desolate sonic landscape. After this claustrophobic intro the instrumentation becomes a back-and-forth struggle between jagged, atonal riffs and brooding sludge up until its final moments, all while being spearheaded by vocalist Tomek Kukliński’s unsettling snarls.
The following track, “Czarna ciecz”, initially follows a similar, sprawling approach to its predecessor before becoming a maelstrom of chaos. Drop-tuned guitars deliver menacing, angular riffs that combine both subterranean grooves and atonal melodies that trap listeners in a hellish trance with their use of spacing and hypnotic repetition. Sometime after the four-minute mark the song transitions into a more straightforward, frostbitten black metal stampede full of pummeling blast beats, eventually reaching a climax of disfigured sludge and nauseating pseudo melodies in the vein of Ulcerate.
The songs that comprise the album’s midsection, “Cizba wyje” and “Lament”, capitalize more on the record’s sludge and post-metal elements. The former track begins with an evil and infectious bass groove and creeping volume swells that bleed into a death march of dissonant, obtuse sludge riffs and off-kilter rhythms that bring a more post-metal Virus or Ven Buens Ende to mind. The latter track, “Lament”, seems to focus on these huge, leviathanic grooves that stomp and groan like some unfathomable beast. The song’s occasional noisy flourish and volatile blast beat keep the listener on the edge of their seat while simultaneously being bludgeoned to death.
The final two tracks, “Strach na ludzi” and “Gorycz”, bring listeners the best of both worlds. “Strach na ludzi” also features harsh, city-leveling instrumentation that trudges and gallops with the utmost intensity and are continually transformed by black metal tones and rhythmic shifts. “Gorycz” then concludes the album on a cacophonous, face-melting note. The song begins with slow-burning, seismic and sparsely placed guitar riffs that tower over tension-inducing drumming. The song gradually builds into a furious final assault of malformed, tremolo-picked riffs and nonstop, throttling drumming that will have listeners itching to play the record again after picking their teeth off of the floor.
To make a long story short, Gorycz‘ Piach is a monstrous, doomed and brooding record that will appease fans of black metal’s stranger side.
Release Date: November 2, 2018
Label: Pagan Records
Favorite Tracks: “Czarna ciez”, “Cizba wyje” and “Gorycz”
For Fans Of: Virus, Ven Buens Ende, Ulcerate and Gorguts