Review by Vladimir on July 25, 2023.
If you ever wondered if there was ever such a thing as “The Metaphysics of Barbarism”, you have come to the right place my friend. The subject that I’ll be covering is a Slovakian black metal band Stangarigel, formed by Stalagnat and Lesodiv. Some of you may know Lesodiv as Adam from the respected Slovakian band Malokarpatan, which in these years gained a very respectable status in the black metal world, and their brand new fourth album is set to be released this year. Even though I am a very big fan of Malokarpatan, for some reason I have never even heard of Stangarigel or was even aware of the band’s existence, so as a newcomer this made it all very suspenseful yet exciting. Last year they released their debut full-length album Na Severe Srdca, but as of July 14th, 2023, they released their new EP Metafyzika Barbarstva via Medieval Prophecy Records. Since this new EP was released quite recently, I was lucky to catch up on the hype surrounding it to see for myself what mysterious and magnificent wonders it has to offer.
Kicking things off with the first track 'Modré Kryštalické Sály', we are awaited with raw and primitive black metal tremolo riffs with some spice of melody to it, drums that switch between fast beats and mid-tempo, with harsh vocals that sound as if they’re coming out of a cave. Interestingly enough, there is even some ambient folk section that comes around the second half of the song, serving both as an interlude and as a very pleasant surprise. The only exception on this album is the second track 'Jazda Preludov Decembrovým Nebom', which is an instrumental ambient track consisted of very moody and atmospheric synth sections, while also providing some other interesting bits such as a war horn in the background and something what appears to be a djembe drum, both appearing on the song’s second half. This EP has a plenty of these mesmerizing ambient sections, even on the final track 'Metafyzika Barbarstva', with some ambient music that has a film score quality to it, and acoustic guitars that come in after a while, before black metal returns to take the joyride, until the album’s closure with a very dark and medieval film score music. Something that I ended up liking a lot about this EP isn’t actually the black metal moments, but it was these various ambient music sections that somehow create a very different layer of atmosphere. The EP definitely has some 90’s black metal quality to it, I will give it that, but something that always grabbed my attention is when bands include ambient moments to spice things up, and here they do it just the way I like it. I wouldn’t even mind if this band just gave it a go to release a full-on dungeon synth, ambient or dark folk album because it would certainly do a good job. As for the sound production, it is very much in the style and spirit of 90’s black metal, creating that raw and cold guitar tone, with loud banging drums and harsh vocals with some added cave reverb to sound more barbaric and evil.
Although Metafyzika Barbarstva may seem like a short but delightful experience of 21 minutes and 36 seconds, in my opinion it still manages to stand out for its various qualities. It’s a wonderful mix of oldschool black metal and ambient music, both of which made it a very interesting release that should definitely be picked up and checked out, especially by fans of Malokarpatan and Krolok.
Rating: 8.7 out of 10349