Popioły - Official Website

Purposeless Through Meaning

Poland Country of Origin: Poland

Purposeless Through Meaning
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Buy on: Bandcamp
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: March 11th, 2024
Label: Old Temple
Genre: Black
1. The Spark
2. W Chmurach Jowisza
3. Eskalacja Przemocy
4. Torn From Void
5. Dietla
6. Wdowi Grosz
7. Tam Gdzie Noc
8. Ilusion
9. Outro

Review by Vladimir on March 14, 2024.

From the very depths of sorrow, shrouded in mystery, without purpose, and colored in grey, we see a world filled with ashes and its existence purposeless through meaning. The subject of this review will be covering the one man-black metal project Popioły from Poland, with the first full-length album Purposeless Through Meaning released on June 30th, 2020 independently, and re-released on March 11th, 2024 via the label Old Temple. 

When it comes down to Popioły and their particular musical output, it is very much a contemporary form of black metal that really means business. From the very get-go, you will notice firsthand that the band has a particularly interesting style with a strong dynamic curve with constant tempo changes, complex arrangements and plenty of musical progression. Their songs are packed with a vast range of styles when it comes to riffs, melodies and open string chords, which are nicely backed up with furious harsh vocals and drums that switch between slow/mid-tempo to blast beats or double-bass drumming. What is highly noticeable in their music is that their songs express a variety of emotions, as well as atmosphere, altogether blending the feelings of misanthropy, misery and solitude with a sense of forthcoming darkness, nihilism and ominous evil. What strongly compliments this album as a whole is the transition from one song to another which is like a one big journey that takes you to all places, experiencing multiple shades of grey while asking so many questions, before the final chapter comes to an epic conclusion with an outro track. 

Like I previously said, this album has a very strong dynamic curve which makes the songwriting very complex and well-thought-out. It’s a very well-crafted musical output that certainly succeeds at holding your attention as the album progresses and it definitely made this feel like a mesmerizing black metal experience which is very easy to follow along. Something that I personally felt about this album is that it has a very pronounced factor of storytelling through music, characterized as climbing down the ladders of insanity or a heavy downward spiral, as if it’s an art movie directed by someone such as Andrzej Żuławski, conveying some highly unsettling moments through the work of the artist himself. On the final note, the album has a very unusually balanced production where it manages to sound both raw but also slightly polished, somewhat half-smooth and half-rough in terms of its quality. 

There is no denying that Popioły’s game is a very strong one, especially because Purposeless Through Meaning is a solid example that proves that you can create contemporary black metal without straying far off in the musical direction or without adding anything overly fancy just to sugarcoat everything. This is perhaps one of the most engaging and enjoyable modern-day black metal albums that really needs to be noticed by a handful of fans who support these underground gems, especially within the polish black metal scene. I highly recommend that you check out this album if you haven’t, I can guarantee that you will experience its charm. 

Rating: 8.8 out of 10