From a Metal perspective, for me, nobody quite does ‘bleak’ with the same finesse as Polish bands and debut release ‘Piach’, referring the to the Polish idiom “iść w piach” which translates as “bite the dust” in English, from Polish Post Black Metal/Sludge outfit Gorycz, whose name, appropriately translates as bitterness, is magnificently and brutally bleak.
Gorycz were formed when ex-Aeon members Przemek Grabowski and Tomek Kukliński decided to return to their roots and joined by Non Opus Dei members Wojtek Błaszkowski and Krysiek Górski, who “sought something casual and spontaneous to unshackle their creativity”. and the result goes beyond that previously bleak overview already mentioned. Born out of a period of “exploration and improvisation” the result is a prog rich, innovative, darkly poetic affair, dominated by groovy, bouncy bass lines which add a lift to the otherwise bleak quality to the sound. The percussion is stunning, complex, technical and superbly phrased, the silence between being as important as the sounds and rhythms delivered and along with that bass work, makes this album the superb listen that it is. The riffs are also well considered and well placed, and the rasping, rusty edged vocals cut a jagged swathe through the sound in a harsh and imposing manner.
The lyrics are described by the band as “poetic, but somewhat ambiguous”, especially if you don’t speak Polish, but you lose nothing from the mood or atmosphere if you don’t, as a content overview they “explore the earth in the physical sense and its connection with society, life and death.” Guitarist, Przemek Grabowski, explains that “in the context of the album’s lyrics the word ‘piach’ (meaning ‘sand’) is a definitive word meaning ‘death’, and that’s why ‘piach’ is a necessity with which we must become accustomed to as people”, so it’s pretty deep too.
It’s not an album you’ll find a favourite track in, it’s a press play, lose yourself in the murky hypnotic groove from the opener ‘Zemia’ to the closing piece ‘Gorycz’ of this six track, thirty five minute masterpiece and enjoy it in its entirety.
Recorded at Nebula Studio with Tomek Stołowski (of the prog act Tides From Nebula) with Haldor Grunberg of Satanic Audio (Behemoth, Thaw, Sunnata) responsible for the mix and mastering and the artwork and layout by Przemek Grabowski, ‘Piach’ is out on Pagan Records digital, CD and vinyl formats and should be of interest if you like bands such as; Non Opus Dei, Odraza, Mord’A’Stigmata, Thaw, or Morowe.
Rating – 4 ½ / 5
Bleakness awaits right here..