One look at the cover of Ifryt’s new EP would be enough for you to surmise that this is no ordinary release, and you’d be quite right. A pair of giant lungs suspended in a scorched desert is more than surreal, it verges on the avant-garde, and that’s exactly what the three tracks comprising Płuca are. When approaching this EP, you should cleanse you mind of all you thought you knew about black metal, and prepare to have your cranium (and eardrums) blown.
With a riff that’s the stuff of Tony Iommis dreams/nightmares, Płuca gets off to an explosive start with ‘Klucz Salomona’, and it rarely looks back over the course of 19 explosive minutes. It’s the sound of an invading army, and it batters down your defences with apparent ease. Ifryt is the brainchild of Bartosz “Kuna” Mokry, he wrote these songs, plays most of the instruments, apart from the guitar solos, while Przemysław “Szrama” Kuskowski adds suitably Satanic vocals (aside from a few dog barks; I told you it was avant-garde). This gives the record a sole purpose of vision and turns each track into a finely-honed, red-hot laser beam. It has a magnetic quality that pulls the listener along in its slipstream, and amidst the pounding drums and gnarly guitar solos, is bursting at the seams with great ideas. It’s the musical equivalent of a Hieronymus Bosch painting; there’s so much going on here that your ears are pulled in several directions at once, and I rather like it.
Płuca’s pièce de résistance is the 10-minute closer ‘Straszne Rzeczy’, and it’s here where Ifryt truly fries our brains. It seems the preceding tracks were merely preliminaries to soften us up, and ‘Straszne Rzeczy’ lands the killer blow. It reminds me of a ‘70s progressive rock track, but only insofar that it’s a song of several distinct suites, and it evolves and revolves as such. Sometimes it’s full of crushing riffs and drums, often it’s surreal with Ifryt peeling pack the thin veneer which separates this world from the next, and offers a frightening glimpse of what future (hell) awaits. In a genre that often insular and regressive, Ifryt has brought something fresh to the table, and Płuca is an EP that smokes like fresh kill.
It’s been six long years since the release of Ifryt’s demo (2017’s Eclipsis) and Płuca, and while it was certainly worth the wait, hopefully we won’t have to wait so long for the follow up.
- Klucz Salomona
- Kona Allah
- Straszne Rzeczy