Naši Životi Više Ne Postoje
Review by Vladimir on February 8, 2023.
I’ve always had a weird but delicate affection towards Croatia’s black metal scene more than any other neighboring country, and probably for a good reason. Most of Croatia’s bands are well received and earned a great deal of respect from its metal community that keep the cult alive. From the town of Vukovar comes a black metal band by the name of Prognan, who are considered by many as the veterans of Croatia’s metal scene. They returned after 11 years of silence with their first full-length album Naši Životi Više Ne Postoje (“Our lives no longer exist”), released digitally on January 9th 2023, receiving its first batch of digipak CD copies in February. This was a much-anticipated album across the Balkans and other Slavic countries, stretching from neighboring countries such as Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Slovenia all the way to Poland and Czech Republic. Fans from these countries were very eager to hear what Prognan’s new work of art has in store for us, while the clock is ticking for the hour to strike. As the hour struck, so rang the bells of war and in that moment, all hell breaks loose. Is this the epic comeback we have all been waiting for?
One thing that should be noted before diving in with details about what this album has to offer, I’d like to mention that the member Kob, known by his full name Goran Dragaš, is a composer who has worked on trailer music for many Hollywood movies such as Jurassic World, Logan, Spiderman Homecoming, Doctor Strange, Alien Covenant and etc. It seems quite impressive and it is indeed a huge success and achievement, but you may be wondering why is this an important detail, right? It mostly has to do with the fact that his talent, passion and skill were incorporated in Prognan’s music as well. Most songs are very grand in their songwriting, resembling a soundtrack for a Hollywood war movie, just in the form of epic and melodic black metal. Besides all the aggressive tremolo riffing, melodies, blast beats, double bass drumming and harsh vocals, there are various orchestrations, violins, choirs, trumpets and pianos to be heard, being more than welcome additions that add the sweet cherry on the top. Every song has its own leitmotif which depicts each scenario of the album’s concept and storyline told through its lyrics and compositions. The main theme of this album is World War 1, but more specifically it’s about the Serbian soldier who is going through the trials and tribulations of the war itself, with the album title referencing the speech of major Dragutin Gavrilović for the Iron Regiment before their last stand. Besides the excellent songwriting and the amazing concept, the sound production would definitely be another highlight of this album. Kob did an amazing job in producing, mixing and mastering this album to make every instrument, every voice and every second matter. To some this album may sound a tad bit overproduced and sugarcoated, but for me it’s the exact opposite, because it doesn’t matter how grand it is, it doesn’t make the music sound sterile and it isn’t the case of “style over substance”. The last thing I want to mention about the album and why it resembles a soundtrack for a Hollywood war movie, is the fact that it’s pretty long with its total length of one hour and six minutes, even though many Hollywood movies tend to have a longer soundtrack. I don’t consider this as a bad thing in any way, but in case you have a short attention span, then this probably isn’t the album for you.
Prognan’s comeback was indeed an epic one which deserved its praise from all the people across the world that heard it. It sounds like bloody rusted metal grinding through the earth with gunfire surrounding each corner of the battlefield and flames rising from all the scorching and explosions. I have no doubt that this album will be talked about in Croatia’s metal community for some time, and in other countries as well. I can’t help but wonder what will be the next step for Prognan after the success of their first full-length album, but I think that it’s always safe to assume that there will be more music in the future years to come. Last thing I would like to say, although it may seem a bit childish and stupid, is to all Sabaton fans reading this right now, please take notes from this album, because this is how you write a metal album which depicts the serious themes and horrors of war.
Rating: 8.8 out of 10726