Nunslaughter – Hells Unholy Fire7th November 2023
Pathogen – Moribund Manifesto10th November 2023
Label: Old Temple / Release Date: 7th July 2023
Pleń (Polish for ‘Crop’) is a Polish Black Metal quintet, one that seemingly sprang into being sometime in the 2020’s. Since that time, from what I can gather they have mostly served as a live act (not that I have been able to find many online instances of this being the case, but I did manage to dig up a few). That all changed this summer however, when the five musicians banded together in a studio to perform, mix and produce what would be their first ever release: A seven-piece, nearly thirty-seven minute long Full-length by the name of Przechrzta (which, as far as I can tell, is either a relatively common first name or surname – By Google skills sadly failed me in this regard).
While doing my research on the band I did notice that neither of the band members seemed to have any prior projects attached to their name, implying that Pleń is their first venture into performing and releasing music (any local, underground bands that I would have no chance whatsoever of finding online notwitstanding) – And if that truly is the case, then colour me impressed. The music is well executed, the musicians clearly have a good, general idea of what modern Black Metal should sound like as well as a decent understanding of each of their instruments and how these can be succesfully merged into one another. No doubt a testament to their first couple of years as a band being a dedicated tour and live band, a rare approach these days, but one that clearly pays off – Not to mention that their sound seems to be heavily influenced by the raw and angry, yet somewhat simple and flowing attitude towards modern Black Metal that I am slowly but surely beginning to associate with the Polish. Which, as always, I find to be a good match with the choice of performing all seven tracks in their native language.
And while I cannot understand the themes of decadence, misanthropy and nihilism without the help of online translation software, the latter of the three did clearly come across as a near emotional state after the first playthrough. Definitely not a bad first release for a band, and as a result, a band I will have to keep close tabs on.
Recommended for fans of Angrrsth.