Zmarłym - Official Website

Druga Fala

Poland Country of Origin: Poland

1. Druga Fala
2. #zostanwgrobie
3. Życie Wieczne Cz.1
4. Życie Wieczne Cz.2
5. Spacer
6. Naszym I Waszym
7. Czy To Już...

Review by Vladimir on June 9, 2024.

When it comes to Polish black metal, you really can't go wrong, because you are rarely going to come across something so atrocious or polarizing that you'd never want to explore its wave of bands any further. Recently, I was recommended by my colleague to check out the band Zmarłym from Końskie, so I decided to give it a go because I know for sure that he wouldn't let me down. With that said, let's dive deep into the plague-infested world of their debut full-length album Druga Fala, released on November 21st, 2021 via Godz Ov War Productions.

From the grey haze, some dangerous and eerie frequencies approach from the other side, expressed through the intense musical output of Zmarłym. The first track nicely sets up the pandemic mood of Druga Fala, however the second track '#zostańwgrobie' heads for a completely different direction by adding some electronic music elements combined with black metal, which would also make an appearance on the final track 'Czy To Już...?'. What stands out about this album from the very get-go is that it has a very bleak atmosphere, almost like you are experiencing the horrific and depressing tone of movies about virus outbreaks like 28 Days Later or Dawn of the Dead, and this album as a whole, along with its dark tone, is heavily reflecting on the dark days of the pandemic when the album was released. As the album progresses, you pretty much feel like you are going through a complete downward spiral, because the music psychologically affects you by throwing you mentally back to that period you would never want to revisit, feeling like a bird in a cage due to the heavy restrictions while also being scared and confused about the whole virus situation that was all over the media. It's obvious that Zmarłym made the album the way it is in order to express the mental torment, public terror and the social agony through their music, and even the album title translates to "second wave", so you can pretty much tell where this is going.

Songwriting-wise, Druga Fala has some very solid ideas that are quite simple yet effective when it comes to the overall execution, but with a strong emphasis on the extreme emotional aspects in the music. It's evident that Zmarłym really had a clear idea about the direction they wanted to go with this album, because their approach contains both traditional ideas in contemporary black metal and also some unorthodox ideas like the electronic music elements which somehow managed to fit in their sound. I won't lie to you that this album really got my attention and I got more curious to know what it was trying to do, and I can safely say that this is a one of a kind album that is different from the rest, while stating a very strong message from start to finish. What I think they did successfully about the album itself is the fact that it musically captured the millions of screams trapped in the minds of people around the world, when we were going through a very difficult period in our day to day lives that would haunt us in later years. Such aggression and intensity really does define the essence of Druga Fala, so it's definitely the biggest highlight, alongside the creepy album cover by Maciej Kamuda, with the artwork that physically embodies that level of horror. As for the production, there isn't much to it that I can add, except for the fact that it sounds very well done thanks to the heavily overdriven tone of the guitars, harsh shrieking vocals and the thundering drum.

Overall, Druga Fala turned out to be a nice album worth checking out and I have to say that it really managed to remind me what it was like living in those bleak days of mental anguish and fear of tomorrow. The work of Zmarłym is probably an equivalent to the works of poets and writers that are borderline doomsayers and nihilists, and what they gave us is an unsettling album that was made with a purpose to make you feel uneasy while also reminding you about the fact that you were going through a dark age in modern form in the year of 2021. If you come across this album, be sure to check it out, because it is like I said, one of a kind.

Rating: 8.3 out of 10