On The Edge Of The Abyss
Review by Alex on May 5, 2019.
Seems like 2003 never really went away with some gothic metal bands. Polynove Pole happens to craft music particularly reminiscent of that era. On the Edge of the Abyss is an ep that's filled with lots of gothic metal nostalgia, whilst mixing the death/doom elements to effective measure. I rarely listen to the gothic stuff with the exception of a few bands; however, there are some obscure underground rarities that are doing it way better than what the mainstream is currently offering, and Polynove Pole is definitely amongst the former. On the Edge of the Abyss captures the gothic essence of romance, whilst mirroring a darkening and bleak nature. Hearing it the first time came as a sweet surprise and a much-needed break away from the bestial stuff.
On the Edge of the Abyss is moderately paced for the most part, hence the extra softening touch of the melodies used and taken advantage of. Marianna’s vocals are like sweet mellow whispers in your ears, her operatic highs are fabulous throughout, especially on “The Nightbirds” remake. Her voice would literally make you drowsy, even on the most eventful of days; her vocals have the right pitch for the instrumentals, I would not be surprised if she decides to play in a traditional heavy metal band someday. The growls do justice to the songs also and give quality contrast to Marianna’s voice; hence the symphonic and guttural approach really worked out in Polynove Pole’s favor. With the lyrics possessing ambiguous meanings at times, you do receive the feeling of being overwhelmed with sorrow but slowly climbing from the depth of its nexus. That's what you want from lyrical content particularly with this sub-genre of music, a sense of relation must be given to the l listener in order to truly assemble a connection with the listener.
The keyboard work is very well done also, they really pop on the title track in support of the elegant guitar work. So not only is Yurii a good growler, but his guitar efforts are very appealing to the ears. The drumming is almost flawless in keeping a composed hand that works in accordance with the rest of the music, its urbane in a sense thus displaying the good chemistry shared amongst the musicians. On the Edge of the Abyss is a very focused and strategic piece of work that appears to be constructed around Marianna’s voice rather than have her sacrifice the safe zone of her vocal ability to amalgamate the music; unlike other bands that do the direct opposite or sound as though the vocalist is being forced into the harmony. That's not the way to go, it often turns out bad and is interpreted as lazy and/or rushed.
The use of the mid-paced instrumentation tempos to fortify the background ambiance produced by the keyboards and the themes brought to attention, highlights Polynove Pole’s understanding of the importance of musical cohesion. Many bands fall into the trap of having the technical capabilities but fail to connect those talents when recording an album. The technical aspect takes precedence over the harmony causing a lack in flow through a confused and directionless state. Polynove Pole avoids this, their approach is very conscious of providing breeding space for both the instruments and vocals rather than have them arrogantly clash against each other.
Having released a full-length in 2009, I'm eager to hear what it offers in comparison to On the Edge of the Abyss. And with material this good one has to wonder what is in the works for Polynove Pole’s next release.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10