Year of release: 2018
Released by: Handful of Hate
Rating: 9 / 10
It is both easy and difficult for me to talk about a posthumous NIEZGAL album. It is easy because the music on it is more understandable and congenial to me than on all previous recordings of the group. It is difficult because it is a potentially iconic album whose place in history has yet to be defined. Speaking of iconic status, I do not meanthat this is “a dead musician's album”. Unfortunately, the venerable public, as usual, did not understand shit from “Stogn ź niebyćcia”. If we omit the omnipresent fuckheads with their "why Belarusians sing in Polish", in the bottom line we have three main reactions. Some immediately loved the album, because Stogn died (and many times they listened to the album in Vkontakte social media, thus expressing support), others started talk shit about it because of a specific way of recording. Third part of listeneers - very few of them - appreciated the album for its true worth, perceiving it as it really is.
Based on the drafts left after Stogn’s suicide, his associate P.Z. (now playing in ŁATANU), created the album, which, in my opinion, is the best album in both the NIEZGAL discography and in all Belarusian metal in 2018th. Coming out on December 30th, it thereby put a bullet under the year (although ID: VISION still had time to squeeze in with their next useless digital EP, but who cares about it besides themselves?). The end is now set in the existence of the group. The thought that “Statut” was the peak creation of NIEZGAL and Stogn personally was beautiful, but it always seemed injust to me. With all its undeniable merits, “Statut” is not “Reinkaos”. But “Stogn ź niebyćcia” is a genuine epitaph for the band and one of its creators.
The album's sound has little in similar with the previous works. The music is almost devoid of thrashiness, characteristic of both "Apošnimi krokami lutaści” and "Statut". The songs are more flowing, their separate fragments cling to each other, intertwining and metamorphing. This style, coupled with well-designed riffs, helps to perceive music with greater ease. The sound - a stumbling block for fans of emasculated recordings - turned out to be rude and untidy in an amicable way. In contrast to the clean and ringing old NIEZGAL recordings, “Stogn ź niebyćcia” strikes with dampness, gloom and rot. The album was recorded overnight at a rehearsal point - everything except guitars. I do not know whether Stogn’s drafts are used in their original form, or they have been re-recorded before. But if the first is true, then it is understandable why it was decided to abandon the lengthy studio record sessions. However, the final material was subjected to mixing and mastering, so the album sounds like an album, and not like a rehearsal.
The most important thing is the mood and atmosphere of “Stogn ź niebyćcia”. It is impossible to describe this mixture of oppressive apocalyptic darkness, anger, hatred and depression, which ultimately leads to death. The effect is doubled due to the fact that the music is perfectly combined with eloquent texts, conveying the sensations that arise when you read them. The texts are made in the vein of Krywian Black Metal traditions , which makes them even more impressive - for those who understand it. Both they and music make it possible to touch something ominous, located outside of being. NIEZGAL retired (finally completing its existence with an infinitely dark song with an unequivocal title “Suicide”) but staked out a place in eternity. Therefore, “Stogn ź niebyćcia” will be listened to for a long time and may have a noticeable impact on Belarusian Black Metal.
The album released as 6-panel digipack limited to 333 copies. The design is minimalistic but perfectly combined with some of the lyrics. See more details on a video. In Russia, it is distributed through Thou Shalt Kill! Records, in Belarus - through Possession Productions. The rest of the world can order it directly from Handful of Hate's bandcamp.