Review by Vladimir on March 1, 2023.
There are some bands within the Serbian black metal scene that traditionally incorporate elements of epic poetry in their lyrics, focusing on a variety of subjects such as folklore, ambience, historical events and battles, and even philosophy. Case and point is the band Пустош and their debut full-length album Сутон. Пустош is consisted of three former members of death/thrash metal band Arc Light from Inđija, who were passionate and dedicated in creating black metal while also forging their own sound. They've released their debut full-length album Сутон on their Bandcamp page, with a total of 7 tracks. So what is the "love product" of epic poetry and black metal that Сутон has to offer?
The album has a variety of musical influences that include black metal, stoner metal, doom metal, folk metal, viking metal and ambient music. Tracks have a mix of different riff ideas, from very slow stoner and doom riffs on tracks such as 'Мȍра', 'Сутон', 'Нечист', to melodic tremolo picking that dominates on tracks 'Пустош' and 'Море'. On top of that, we have double bass and mid tempo drumming, with reverse blast beat on the fourth track 'Пустош'. There are only two instrumental ambient tracks 'Смрт' and 'Јесен', both have melancholic piano music and ambience, serving as an interlude between songs. Another thing that deserves a mention is the vocal style of Vožd, who sings with a harsh vocal where you're able to clearly hear and understand the lyrics he's singing. I'll admit though that at first I wished that the vocals were a bit more harsh and raw, but I did manage to get used to it after hearing them multiple times. As I mentioned before, there are a variety of metal subgenre influences that can be heard in their riffs and overall sound, but some key examples would be Mgła's "With Hearts Towards None", Bathory's "Nordland I" and "Nordland II", High On Fire's discography and Burzum's dungeon synth/ambient albums. These various influences were well handled and incorporated, helping them somewhat shape their own sound that would define the signature style of Пустош.
Сутон has a very unique and different take on black metal that we haven't heard from any Serbian band yet, which could probably be considered as somewhat of a turning point for the genre, at least on this territory. The album is an awesome debut in every way, epic and superb songwriting and awesome sound production with crunchy guitar sound, distorted bass guitar and very clear harsh vocals. After an entire year since the album's release, Пустош is now going strong in the Serbian metal scene, while performing these songs onstage in front of a loyal fanbase that are now hungrier than ever to hear something new from them soon.
Rating: 8.2 out of 10254