Monday, July 30, 2012

Gontyna Kry- Oblicza Prawd Zdradzonych Dla Krzyża (1996)

Oblicza Prawd Zdradzonych Dla Krzyża is the weak link in the otherwise very strong early Gontyna Kry discography. In contrast to the highly developed and stylized demos like Welowie and Pusty Wieczór, Oblicza Prawd… is a lot less focused and refined. The demo occasionally displays the band’s excellent taste for melody and harmony, but the sound quality is far inferior to their other releases from this era. 

The overall mix is pretty poor. The vocals are upfront, while the instruments are all muddled in the background. That’s unfortunate, because the vocals are not great here. While most Gontyna Kry’s early recordings have high-pitched vocals in the vein of early Burzum, here the vocalist melds a blackened scream  with a straight-forward shout. This is not the ideal vocal style for this atmospheric and melancholic brand of black metal. The guitars are sufficiently audible, but are weak and cheap sounding. The high end of the drums is easy to hear, but the low end is really difficult to make out. 

The songwriting on Oblicza Prawd… is not very interesting either. There are three pieces of black metal in the style of Master’s Hammer circa Ritual; while this is a nice style, none of the songs are very consistent. There are some nice passages scattered throughout the recording (i.e. harmonic chorus on “Pradawne Przymierze”) but none the songs sustain interest from start to finish. The intro and outro—which are often standouts on Gontyna Kry recordings—are also not their best. The intro is a decent electric solo backed by acoustic guitar, but nothing especially captivating, while the outro is an innocuous solo piece for electric guitar. 

Oblicza Prawd… is definitely the weakest of Gontyna Kry’s demos. In comparison to the feast of melancholic melodies that comprise the next few releases, Oblicza Prawd… is simply lacking. While diehard fans might find it somewhat interesting to hear what the band sounded like at this early stage, newcomers would be better off looking to the next three releases, which have much more to offer. 

Overall: 4/10

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