Paul Castles checks out a Polish black metal solo venture from Vos, released via Godz ov War Records on November 17, 2017
Godz ov War remains one of the prime ‘go-to’ record labels for those with a twisted ear in the direction of the black metal underground. The subterranean scene is particularly prevalent in Poland at the moment where Absque Cor now look set to join the ranks of the damned. As is so often the case thesedays, Absque Cor is a solo venture, this time managed and manipulated by Vos, of who very little is known. That aside, Wędrówkę Haniebnie Zakończyć (To End This Journey Disgracefully) is a brief but blistering introduction to his undoubted talents with the four tracks commandeered into 32 momentous minutes.
Applying just the right combination of abrasive cuts alongside more symphonic strokes, all four tracks pulse with atmosphere as though plugged in to some kind of blackened grid. There’s a lengthy intro to set the incomprehensibly named ‘Jeden Ksi®¥yc WciÑ¥ Wskazuje’ underway, that slowly draws you in to an almost trance-like state. Things then take a sudden channel shift with the biting vocals entering for the first time before the riffage patterns develop an extra layer of venom, spiraling away into a cauldron of bubbling black energy whipped up by some primitive drum blasts.
The furnace heat is taken off the boil with the inauspiciously slow start of ‘To Co W czêowieku Nieuniknione’. But with this track being around nine minutes there’s plenty of time to build momentum and suspense and sure enough Vos lights the touchpaper after around 90 seconds of placid grooves.
While the darkness seeps through ‘To Co W czêowieku Nieuniknione,’ the tempo is still relatively checked, with pauses placed every few steps to stop things running out of control. Instead, intensity simply builds gradually, the vocal kicks taking on a more fevered form while more expansive grooves start to dominate the soundscape. The handbrake is sharply applied midway through the journey before the barbed wire riffs again start to tear into flesh creating seeping wounds through which Absque Cor pour on the angst and agony.
The longest piece is the 10-minute ‘Zdecyduj Wi®c Sam KtórÑ Wybierzes’ which goes for your throat from the first explosive blast and grinds away with a stop-start battery ram that rarely lands anything other than hefty blows. At one point the blastbeats come so fast as to almost fall over themselves but Vos does a fine job in steadying the ship by injecting slower tempos to allow occasional pauses for breath.
Full marks to Vos for this nihilistic-packed introduction to his music. The black metal road is indeed a congested highway thesedays but there’s enough here to keep Absque Cor motoring in the fast lane, closer ‘Do Niezbawienia’ another superbly rifled death charge.
- Jeden Ksi®¥yc WciÑ¥ Wskazuje
- To Co W czêowieku Nieuniknione
- Zdecyduj Wi®c Sam KtórÑ Wybierzes
- Do Niezbawienia