Review: SOOM – Ніч на полонині

Year of release: 2014
Released by: addicted label / Robustfellow / Voron NEST
Rating: 6,8 / 10

Looking at CD with the debut full-length album of the Ukrainians SOOM, it is easy to suspect that Nameless Label had an attack of traditionalism, which led to the release of a classic atmospheric metal with a nationalistic bias. Ukrainian language, grandpa with a high-in-the-mountains-singing Hutsul horn on the cover (a parallel with “Filosofem” is quite obvious!), national ornament and photos of nature in the booklet. A long ambient intro is already tuning you on a right way...

But hell no! Reading the texts makes it clear that the album does not even smell like traditionalism, but it has the strong stench of green grass. And not the one that abundantly covers the hills and hillocks of the Carpathians. “The grandson took sweet magical leafs from his grandfather, smoked, had fun, and then vomited” - this, in short, is the essence of the album's concept. Bullshit, if even shorter, though it's quite funny sometimes.

But the musical side leaves a good impression. After a dull split with ИЛ - refreshingly good. The heavy clanking sludge metal, from which the second track starts, gradually acquires more voluminous motifs. The scale of the sound is expanding. In the best moments, as in the middle of the 4th track, the songs reach gigantic proportions. SOOM give out almost ISENGARD’s vocals and riffs that can easily compete with the masters of epic Doom. Then everything collapses into a tight gloomy swamp to rise again, fall again, rise again... typical junkie mood swings. However, even in the “brightest” moments, the album remains very negative - “funeral stoner”, as another reviewer aptly defined it.

Even this development of dynamics is a huge step forward compared to split. But SOOM also made sure to saturate their songs with interesting instrumental tricks - the clearest example of this can be found at the 6th track, which consists almost entirely of fancy guitar parts. Other things are beautifully braided by, for example, solo guitar patterns. Where nothing came to the band's mind, gags from a little messy ambient came together. In general, the music is not amazing, but it's 55 minutes are not boring, even despite my negative attitude towards this style.

The CD edition is packed into a simple cardboard envelope, but inside you find a well-made booklet. The release design is pretty good - I already described the main features above, but in details you can see it on a video. Album is still available in Nameless Label distro - go to Bandcamp and see for yourself.

 

Post Author: F1sher16

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