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Review: 'Non Opus Dei'

-  Label: 'Pagan Records'
-  Genre: 'Heavy Metal'

Our Rating:
The press release gives title away, and I’m unfamiliar with the previous 7 albums by Poland's black metal band Non Opus Dei, who return with ‘eighth studio album titled "Głód" (which can be translated as famine or hunger)’.

The intro is an auspicious 23 seconds long. I try to attach no importance to it, but the 23 enigma exists in perpetuity in the back of my mind, and as I sat in Room 23 of a hotel last week, reading of the 23rd confirmed case of COVID-19 in Britain and downloading this. I’m probably better versed in the recurrence of the number 23 than I am in the nuances of black metal.

I don’t for a second think all black metal sounds alike, by any means, and Głód swings between frenetic fretwork and some squirming, low-BMP trudges, as best exemplified by the 8-and-a-half-minute ‘Po jałowej ziemi’. This gives it range, and it’s not all about punishing pace and throat-ripping guttural vocal – just most of it.

Głód manages to incinerate the listener’s ears with a squalling blast of treble, which at the same time manages to be part of a sound that’s murky and indistinct. It’s dingy, dirty, fast, abrasive, and dark, and Klimorh sounds like his throat’s been slit as he spews and sprays unintelligible, strangulated throat noises.

The title track is but an interlude, some monastical warbling in a cathedral of stony, sepulchral echo, and sits between sprawling epics, providing a brief respite before the 10-minute flurry of fury that is ‘Do ołtarzy w piekle’. It’s gnarly, paint-strippingly abrasive and relentless, although the last track, ‘Plon’ drifts into post-rock and changes the trajectory unexpectedly at the end of a blistering blast of an album.

  author: Christopher Nosnibor

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