If you visit a restaurant a number of times and you always find the same menu card, you will finally give up on them. And you’ll end up looking for places, where the food is equally good (or better), but the variation more stringent.
The same goes with some of the metal genres that are out there.
Black Metal especially and positively screams for some rejuvenating relief, and some fresh pathways to travel. Too many bands are just holed up in their deep caves, drumming and rasping away – come hell or high water, no pun intended. In the same drowsy fashion, they always did. No change on the horizon, ever.
Now, luckily we have gigs like the Polish Neoheresy.
Those bands that try a different, but decidedly more thorny route to new metal nirvana. Like Black Passage or Cwn Annwn, maybe not in style, but surely in concept. The band’s new EP Oblawa happily presents an atypical version of a Pagan infused Post Black Metal offering.
The band’s delivery is so out-in-the-boonies that die-hard Black Metallers will feel their corpse paint desperately evaporate into thin air.
Add to that sepulchral guitar riffs and a demonic choir that seems to step right out of The Omen. And you got yourself a very special kind of devilry, not easily found this side of the Styx.
That said, the record comes across a trifle disjointed, with the jumble of elements kind of helter-skelter thrown in. But it just manages to hold on to the edge of the abyss without sliding to its chaos-laden depths. All this bouncing about desolate landscapes is brought about by one F aka L.O.N.(Blakagir), as a one-man-project.
The Neoheresy horde saw the light of day in the year of the Dark Lord 2012. The project produced a goodly number of records to date of different and changing flavors. Oblawa is the fifth offering, all formats included.
Should you own a copy?
And that is a difficult question. To dig a somewhat rambling jambalaya of influences may be difficult for some. And indeed, you get Post Black Metal with a pagan influence. Then some folksy madness, a goodly portion of the evil pop machine, to a totally dreich and atmospherically laden Black Metal grind. And this is quite a piece to behold.
Yet, I – for one – enjoyed this style. Or maybe more accurately: Neoheresy‘s non-style of a freewheeling piece of music. Tasty, fresh like a cool breeze. And totally out of the box.
And that is what we really need in this world of metal in total lockstep.
[Editor’s note: Originally posted on 11 March 2017, revised Aug 2019.]