Czerń – Czerń

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Artist: Czerń
Album: Czerń

Label: Vita Detestabilis Records (Distro Coming: Fiadh Productions)
Release Date: January 27th 2023

Location: Warsaw, Poland

Holy tinnitus Batman, I’ve received a sonic thrashing that I won’t soon forget and its courtesy of Polish metallic hardcore act Czerń.

When people talk about metallic hardcore sometimes, they mean groovy group shouted vocal hardcore with some metal elements sprinkled in. To me though, when I think of metallic hardcore, I think of furiously aggressive hardcore with either the speed and riff worship of thrash, the violence of death metal, the grime of sludge metal or the raw, depressive undertones of black metal. Bands such as Ringworm, Integrity, All Out War and Cro-mags come to mind and now after hearing this album so will Czerń.

Be ready for this release because it hits with the force a sledgehammer to the back of the head and if you aren’t ready for it you can easily be caught off guard. I wouldn’t say that there’s a lack of focus on atmosphere, as there is a definite air of anguish and frustration in the mix, however aggression is the key word here. The band throw all the frustration that they feel towards the world at the listener, holding back nothing.

The band’s musical style is probably best described as a marriage of hardcore and elements of death, sludge, and black metal elements. The result of this fusion is an album that oozes violence, grime, and depressive undertones. For me I see this as a winning combination, as not only have the band combined three of my favourite metal genres but they’ve mixed in the energy, rhythm and bass of hardcore punk.

Guitar tone wise the band employs as many varying styles as they incorporate styles. You’ll find crunchy death metal offerings, grimy sludge textures and biting black metal tones. You’ll find riffs and hooks from each style interchanging throughout, playing off the punk/hardcore undertones and energy woven into the fabric of the music. Drum wise we get a furious offering that mixes high energy punk styles, blast beats and complex rhythmic patterns. To me though the key element is the bass, as one would expect with a band with punk roots, the bass is thick, bouncy and sits high and clearly in the mix. Personally, this is one of my favourite elements of punk/metal fusions, this additional layer of tone and energy that metal sometimes lacks.

Vocally Łukasz hits us with an all-out assault of both rabid barked and guttural vocals. They sit high in the mix as is expected with any hardcore album and drive a lot of the album’s energy. Unfortunately, I don’t speak Polish but luckily DeepL exists so I can tell you that the band’s lyrics are anti-war, fascism and chauvinism. Even with what I’m sure is a flawed translation its apparent that the band write politically charged, meaningful music, with the opening track Gorsze Miejsce‘s lyrics reading:

Before your eyes, the future disappears

Through your fingers you sift through the dust

It’s only going to get worse

Only a worse place

It’s already going to be just a worse

A place in the world

You pour the grayness down your throat

You do it every day

You dilute it with black coffee

Because you do

It’s only going to get worse

Only a worse place in the world

In their race to the brink

They know It will be

Only worse, Only worse

A place in the world

You remember, You see how the year has passed

Between the wall and the screen

Overall, the album is well worth your time whether you enjoy punk or metal based genres. The music marries the best elements of both and ties it together with meaningful lyrics, raw power and technical proficiency. My only complaint is that the album only features four tracks and I want so much more than that.


Listen to and order the album:

Bandcamp




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