Fulgurum
Człowiekskrywazło


4.0
excellent

Review

by Arche USER (86 Reviews)
December 29th, 2016 | 8 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A thrilling, if occasionally bewildering, take on the possibilities of black metal when a little creative license is employed.

When comparing its album art depicting Eastern European peasant life, to sole member Krignord’s musings about individualism on his Facebook page, Fulgurum is a project from which it's difficult to know what to expect on outside observation alone. As it happens, coming into Człowiekskrywazło with the anticipation of hearing a by-the-numbers atmospheric black metal album is a sentiment quickly dashed, by virtue of its first few seconds. ‘Słowiańskość Serca’ transports the listener, at least initially, not to a Polish folk setting or Ukrainian riverside but to the American Wild West – plaintive guitar plucking and swells of ominous bass feel more Morricone than Drudkh. From here, a bouncing riff and rallying cry finds itself somewhere between Poland and Ibiza, by virtue of how energising it feels. The track settles itself down slightly (as far as this album can, anyway), yet the stage is set; Człowiekskrywazło is definitely a black metal album, but its approach is nothing if not fascinating.

Fulgurum’s modus operandi plays on taking all-out black metal and then teasing it apart, injecting slightly odd ideas where he sees fit. ‘Głowa Skrywa Strach’ opens up to a very typical, dense BM passage, yet Krignord chooses to break it up with two quivering stabs of near-silence, detailed only by a crying guitar note, tortured by an over-enthusiastic tremolo arm. An album highlight, ‘Po Drugiej Stronie Raju’ is an excellent merger of Rains Upon the Impure-era Ruins of Beverast (by means of its slower pacing and choral focusing), gothic atmospheres and vicious, hammering riffs (all punctuated by Krignord's excellent snarls and shrieks). Yet, as the track progresses more and more dissonant notes chime out from bells and strings; it's something both beautiful yet horrifying, reminiscent of an angel's final song while having it's wings clipped. Even closing track ‘Pętla’, which is a surprisingly affecting piece that thrives on its merging from acoustic prettiness to battery, feels as though the tried-and-tested quiet/loud relationship is being tested – the acoustic section isn’t as clean as it should be, and rather than fade out like all good closers should, it initiates one final assault at the listener, stabbing and snarling with all it has left.

However, this unusual approach to songwriting does come with its shortfalls; it sometimes feels like Krignord is trying to fit too many ideas into one segment, which while laudable for his ambition, makes for an album that needs time to sit comfortably with the listener. The first three minutes of ‘Ten Co Tyłem Stał’ are possibly the best example of this, as jubilant Polish folk songs turn – abruptly – into black metal so impetuous it can barely keep up with itself. An angular, lurching riff one would more associate with Peste Noire manifests itself shortly afterwards, slowing the pace back down again (somewhat akin to the feeling of nausea following a short yet energetic fairground ride) – only to reprise its blood-and-thunder blasting for a few seconds before its interlude. The result is a track that, during its first few listens at least, is overpowering in its approach, and despite successfully creating a manic atmosphere does warrant a little breathing space.

Perhaps it’s unsurprising, then, that some of Człowiekskrywazło’s more immediately satisfying moments rest on its less idiosyncratic leanings. ‘Zamarła Turnia’ is arguably its most ‘normal’ track, which despite the few aforementioned time-signature curveballs in its second half and introduction of bowed instruments stays largely true to the blueprint of riffy, mid-paced black metal (right down to the acoustic, atmospheric interlude halfway through). In fact, after its manic beginnings, ‘Ten Co Tyłem Stał’ eventually settles down into more familiar blackened territory, accompanied by a surprisingly moving melody and whammy-bar friendly solos. During these moments, it’s comforting to know that Fulgurum doesn’t just rely on pushing the envelope to impress – comforting, partially, as it allows the listener to anchor themselves for a while onto something that they’re (roughly) familiar with, instead of venturing into the unknown.

The development of music, when viewed as a continuous process, does rely on the prodding and poking of previously set boundaries to thrive – yet, sometimes those boundaries are there because they’ve been proven to enjoyably work. Człowiekskrywazło, if anything, is a prime example of both the positive and negative facets of genre experimentation; when ideas gel, such as the percussion-heavy easing into ‘Słowiańskość Serca’, the amount of fun to be had is exceptional. But, as aforementioned, a little creative restraint sometimes goes a long way. However, the positives here do vastly outweigh the negatives, and Człowiekskrywazło is a thrilling, if occasionally bewildering, take on the possibilities of black metal when a little creative license is employed.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Archelirion
December 29th 2016


5651 Comments


Imperfect but an absolute ton of fun to be had. Any comments, corrections and whatnot as always welcomed :]
Stream here - https://narcolepticaprod.bandcamp.com/album/cz-owiekskrywaz-o

zaruyache
December 29th 2016


20652 Comments


The hell is that album name tho

Archelirion
December 29th 2016


5651 Comments


I think, after a wee bit of fiddling about on Google Translate, it translates to something like 'Man Hides Evil', once you split it up into Człowiek, Skrywa and Zło.

MrSirLordGentleman
December 29th 2016


12396 Comments


how the hell is supposed to be pronounced lol

Archelirion
December 29th 2016


5651 Comments


I think it's 'chwov-ee-ek-skree-vaz-wo'. Not 100% sure though, it's been a few years since I did Polish pronunciation.

CaptainDooRight
December 29th 2016


2819 Comments


book


Digging: Ceremony Of Silence - Otis

CaptainDooRight
December 29th 2016


2819 Comments


def expiremental/avant-garde and quite interesting to say the least

Archelirion
December 29th 2016


5651 Comments


Yeah, it's certainly that. I'd also argue that, in the few days I've been listening to it, the oddities have started to level out in my head and it's getting better.



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