Sznur – Ludzine


Poland is currently a hotbed of extreme metal, and with a band like Sznur leading the charge, that’s really no surprise. Formed in Wałbrzych, Lower Silesia, this trio have left a trail of tantalising albums, the fourth of which Ludzine, finds them taking their musical brutality to new heights. Powered forward by a misanthropic rage, Sznur (their name means ‘noose’ in Polish) aren’t for the faint-hearted but for those who like their black metal nasty, and with plenty of bite, Sznur are just the ticket.

After a brief, slightly surreal introduction which seems to echo from another age, it is a piece of music that recalls a time pre-World Wars, Sznur arrive like an invading army, break the spell and put us into a different reality. The sound they deliver is harsh and abrasive, and is everything good blackened thrash should be; it is a swirling maelstrom and one that represents a world perishing flames as two opposing armies face each other and operate a scorched earth policy. The riffs which guitarist/bassist Seth delivers are totally addictive, they are musical shackles that keep the listener captive (and often against our will). As a statement of intent, ‘Kurwy’ is the perfect opener and one which sets a dangerous precedent, there’s no quarter given and those expecting any respite are seriously delusional. Very little space between songs only adds to the feeling of intensity, and ‘Płyny’ follows like a runaway train, and it hits equally hard, and if you are in the mood for some skull crushing music, you’re in the right place.

Throughout Ludzine vocalist ZerO sings with a nice throaty rasp, his words are raw and gruff (as if he’s been licking sandpaper), and there’s something about the Polish tongue that suits this kind of black metal thrash very well. On this album the music and vocals complement each other, and the Polish language adds another layer of heaviness to an already weighty sound. Take ‘Pole’ for example, ZerO sings like a man possessed, the devil made flesh, and he gives the song a dark, sinister vibe, and dangerously so. In fact, the overarching feeling this album gives is one of unease, and no more so than on ‘Stosunek’. Not only do Psyho’s drums hit like a ten-ton hammer but the track contains a series of unsettling samples. An outro that mirrors the intro brings things full circle, but don’t relax just yet, because a warlike cover of Defekt Muzgó’s ‘Wojna’ makes for a cataclysmic conclusion, and one that will reverberate long after the disc has stopped spinning.

Sznur are setting new boundaries as to what black metal can be, not only sonically, but aesthetically too. So slip Ludzina into the player, and prepare to have your mind (and eardrums) blown.

Track List:

  1. Kurwy
  2. Płyny
  3. Dwóch
  4. Pole
  5. Ul
  6. Stosunek
  7. Wojna