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Kolac

Serbia Country of Origin: Serbia

Kolac
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: February 3rd, 2024
Genre: Black
1. Intro
2. Kolac
3. Monsieur De La Nuit
4. Eppur Si Muove
5. Krvokolj
6. Burn
7. Signed With Black Blood
8. Silence Of The Ages
9. Jeb'o Te Bog
10. Raskršten


Review by Vladimir on February 1, 2024.

Black metal bands who deal with blasphemous themes can create something provocative or unsettling, however they do often just ridicule themselves more than their Christian enemies. It does seem like a very easy subject to deal with, however it seems to more than just meets the eye, but that does not diminish the fact that some bands who manage to come out with something blasphemous and catchy to enjoy. In this case, I am referring to the Serbian black metal band Kolac, who have evolved drastically ever since their early beginnings all the way to today, incorporating more heavy and thrash metal elements in their music, especially since Omadan IX joined the band to add his devilish touch to their second full-length album Zauvek Crni and now they offer more medieval themes dealing with punishment methods in the Dark Ages. It would take at least another 10 years until the band finally lights a new fire to cast away all the non-believers and call upon those forever loyal who pledge their allegiance. With this in mind, Kolac is set to release their self-titled third full-length album on February 3rd via Pest Records. Over the recent years they had built up much groundwork for their new album and now it is met with highest expectations, both from Serbian and worldwide black metal fans. Did they manage to strike hard with their new sharpened stake? Let's find out!

On their third album, Kolac once again goes ahead of their way to provide songs in both Serbian and English language, with a few notable exceptions having titles in other languages such as 'Monsieur De La Nuit' in French and 'Eppur Si Muove' in Italian. Musically it relies on a standard black metal output with traditional use of tremolo picking riffs with some melodies, blast beat drums and harsh vocals, however with more complex songwriting that incorporates heavy or thrash metal oriented ideas. Songs such as 'Krvokolj' provide some of those highly anticipated catchier moments that are simply hard to be left out of any Kolac album, this time giving some marching drums in the song's opening, along with some mid-tempo rhythm sections and a brief instance of d-beat. Throughout their songs, you can hear some traces of bands such as Darkthrone, Dissection, Immortal, Watain, Dawn, Sacramentum, and even a bit of Hellenic black metal influences such as Rotting Christ and Varathron on the sixth track 'Burn'. Perhaps the best example that showcases the traces of Swedish melodic black metal such as Dissection, Sacramentum, Dawn and plenty of others, comes in the form of the eight track 'Silence Of The Ages', and this one might be my personal favorite from the entire tracklist. One relic from the band's past that finally resurfaced and took its final form is the closing track 'Raskršten', which has been around since their demo days and has since then remained a standout song that makes the audience go wild.

The flow of the album is dynamic with all the ideas that were incorporated in the songwriting, leading to a strong curve that shifts the mood from very furious to incredibly catchy. Some songs are indeed standouts thanks to their riffs and choruses, however I think that all tracks possess their own strengths and characteristics which make them a joy to listen to. The only thing on this album that I have a small issue with are the vocals, which aren't bad by any means, but I just wish that they were much more intense on some songs and less dry sounding. This may be just a thing of personal preference, but I think we can all agree that the vocal performance in the end still came out pretty solid. The cover by Entitatem Null Arts has a very good medieval art styled visual representation, which for a band named Kolac (meaning "the stake" in Serbian) at last shows people being tortured and rammed to the stakes. Although I must say that the particular choice of the cream coloured background does come off as a bit unusual, I think that it was actually meant to reference medieval parchment, which in the end is still unique and not a very common thing with black metal albums. The production of this album is pretty good with its nice balance between a clean and moderately raw sound, whilst not being thinned out to the point of feeling and sounding boneless.

Personally, I think that this album is a very good example of traditional black metal done right, with a good and well-thought-out use of provocative subjects that go nicely with the overall musical output. Even though I still have a personal attachment to their previous album Zauvek Crni from 10 years ago, especially since that album has had a strong influence on me, I think that their self-titled album Kolac surpasses their previous works. In just a couple of years, the Serbian scene managed to get some notable works of black metal that are worthy of attention and praise, and the third self-titled album by Kolac is no exception. If you are a fan of Serbian black metal, particularly Kolac, be sure to check this one out.

Rating: 8.8 out of 10

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