Sznur is a Polish Black Met trio, one that seems to have been quite the hard workers since their inception back in 2017 – In fact, so far they have nearly managed to release a Full-length every year of their existance, with Dom Człowieka marking their third release overall.
Lyrically, the band focuses upon themes of misanthropy, suicide and death – Which is par for the course when speaking about Black Metal. However, what drew me in at first glance was nice, subtle details that ties the band itself to death and suicide in particular; Details such as the name of the band, Sznur, meaning ‘Rope’ in their native polish as well as how a noose is hanging off the u in their name as their simple, yet efficient logo. On top of that, all three albums they have released have been produced in black-and-white (aside from their debut release which was instead in brown-scale), assuming to also tie together with the theme of leaving one world for another irrevocably (in this case, most likely by death).
This overall image they have painted of themselves, complete with executioners hoods in promotional material (I sadly have no idea whether they wear these on stage as well – Yet) fits the tone and ambience the three musicians create quite well to boot – Somewhat slow-paced, distorted instruments relentlessly pouding away for five tracks straight, with gravelling, menacing growls making up the vocals – Creating a vicious discord of sounds, one perfectly attuned to pound you full of energy to burn.
Now, despite by above praise of the band and how their overall image ties both their logo, name and lyrical themes together nicely (which I still argue that it does), I would be remiss not to mention that this particular lemon, entitled Dom Człowieka (which, incidentally, is Polish for ‘Man’s House’) leans heavily into the misanthropic aspects of their world-view, leaving the death and suicide instead being creatively explored throughout sound files and build-up throughout the five tracks (as far as my limited understanding of the Polish language goes). A notable example of this is the track ”Popłód”, which means ‘Fetus’ – This is the second track on the album, and ends with the sound of a small child crying. Said cries slowly dissipates before grinding to a halt entirely as you hear a microwave being turned on, running through a programme and eventually finishing – Hinting at a very short lifespan of said infant.
As such, Sznur belongs to the old-fashioned school of Black Metal – Music meant to provoke and terrify, to create an emotional response outside the depressed and melancholic soundscapes that I usually delve into these days – And I find it very appealing. Despite their newest release sadly being a bit short for my taste (clocking in at just above thirty-one hours), it does what it sets out to do – Paints a very dysmal picture of mankind and even seems to provide several clear-cut arguments pointing to why we deserve to be eradicated as a species. And I like it.
Sznur seems to be a prime candidate for a live band – I would by no means be surprised if they turn out to be able to put on a very energetic live show to match their on-disc energy.
Recommended for fans of Gorgoroth, Tsjuder and Taake.