Release DetailsLABEL Avantgarde Music
RELEASED ON 4/7/2003
posted on 5/2003 By:
Poland has provided me with some top-notch death metal, and Darzamat does NOT continue that trend. Instead, what I found was a pleasurable album of progressive, gothic rock. Darzamat utilize a twin vocal approach, switching off between the angelic voice of Katazyrna Bataszak, and the heavily-accented, clean vox of Rafal Goral. Now while I'm a sucker for a good female singer, Bataszak is quite good. On the other hand, Goral is too monotone, but his quirky Polish accent saves it for him. Besides the vocals, the synthesizer work of bassist Szymon Struzek is a major driving force in their sound. Most often it sounds like an orchestral string section is backing the band, and they very well may be, but I don't see any information attesting to that. The guitar work of Krzysztof Michalak is nothing mind-blowing, as it's relegated to the background in most of the songs, but the few leads he plays are pretty sweet. Oniriad is excellently produced, with clarity and a nice mix of the instruments. Into the Abyss of Forgotten Woods opens up the album with a bouncy piano passage and layered vocals, then those string-like synths kick in with some distorted guitar in the background. Goral generally handles the verses, while boy and girl team up on the chorus, and later on Michalak teases me with a short little solo. The Longest Journey is a bit heavier and a bit faster, with an underlying mood that seems to be building towards a huge climax that just never really comes, and it leaves you wanting more. Beauty is just plain weird, sounding more like something you'd hear at one of those artsy, beatnik clubs than on an album sent to MetalReview, but it's listenable. Time is a cool song that I could see being played at some sketchy European nightclub. Ominous strings mesh with electronica beats and effects, which in turn mesh with those crazy Polish accents. Elegy is a slower number with some folkish influences, similar to some older Nightwish songs. Soporific closes the door with an entrancing bass line that basically repeats itself for a good five minutes with light percussion and Bataszak singly softly on top.
Oniriad is a unique album that most likely won't appeal to many readers of this fine site, but it hits me in just the right spot. It's refreshing to hear something different once in a while, and Darzamat is certainly different than my usual fare. Poland rides again!
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