Year of release: 2018
Released by: Werewolf Promotion
Rating: 8 / 10
Having finished with the “seasonal” quadrology of the albums, Wojslav decided not to rest on his laurels. Having joined forces with a couple of his friends from Krakow, he took up work on a split, which in spirit, perhaps, is closer to the work of another band with his participation - WĘDRUJĄCY WIATR.
Both STWORZ and RIVERS LIKE VEINS are obsessed with nature in a good way. Their personal experiences are so closely intertwined with the very essence of their native land that every image, be it a stormy sky, leaves rustling in the wind or hills covered with greenery, conveys a whole gamut of emotions and feelings. And it is no longer clear where purely fine art ends and the opening of the soul begins. Judging by the samples, fragments of lyrics and my own observations, the concept of the split is built on the same basis as all the activities of WĘDRUJĄCY WIATR: long hikes, night gatherings around the fire.
Nevertheless, the musical component is still different here. STWORZ offers its own recognizable vision, which has not yet undergone major changes compared to the album "Wołosożary". The only difference is that Wojslav (who, by the way, composed and played all the material alone) seemed to start breathing deeply again. “Wołosożary” seemed a little tight to me, but on the split STWORZ is showing great shape. You can feel inspiration and impulse in music. Every second it seems that it is about to jump off the spot and gallop. And it happens! I missed the fast songs from STWORZ. Moreover, Wojslaw learned to more skillfully introduce flute parts into music. On the first track, it sounds amazing.
However, the most interesting part of the split (as they say, selling point) is the cover of FOREST "Лейся, кровавая пена". The BBH cover is a very serious test, and, in my opinion, Wojslaw passed it with honor. The lyrics were skilfully translated into Polish, though not without flaws. The music accelerated noticeably, and this, coupled with the characteristic sound of STWORZ, made the song a full-fledged part of the project's discography. If you do not peep at the booklet, you may not even guess for a long time that this is a cover because it sounds like 100% STWORZ.
RIVERS LIKE VEINS is a more extravagant and ambiguous project. This is still a rather young brainchild of pan Icyvr and pani A. Bouillanne, in whom I suddenly recognized the characters I know from Instagram, since I see them in recommendations section all the time. The group identifies itself as “decadent hooligan Black Metal”, which, of course, is nonsense, since I did not notice anything hooligan about RIVERS LIKE VEINS, and it is almost as distant from Black Metal as STWORZ, who also identified himself on this split as "Pagan Black Metal". Funny and silly. I blame it mostly not on musicians, but on indisputably respected figures like Hendrik Möbus, Ilya Babin and The Pagan Front, whose incompletely correct understanding of the destructive aspect of Black Metal eventually gave rise to an absolutely incorrect interpretation of the essence of it.
Back to the main course. The self-characteristic of RIVERS LIKE VEINS, of course, hints at the similarity of the band's work with PESTE NOIRE, but I have nothing to say about this - I have never listened to PESTE NOIRE, except for that song with clucking. Poles' music is very versatile and somewhat experimental. It reminds of friendly WĘDRUJĄCY WIATR and FALL: autumn atmosphere, melancholy, more blurry sound, hysterical vocals. However, the band constantly crumples and stretches its base, as a result of which the music changes dramatically. More often than not, elements of other styles and even genres appear out of the blue: either a blues solo will slip by, or an amazing riff, or a long interlude with an electronic backing will begin, one step away from trip-hop. The female vocals are mostly recitative. A huge part of the work was taken over by a guest musician from the RITUAL WALTZ project: the synthesizer parts and electronic effects in his performance are as great and atmospheric as they are diverse. I will also add that Razor from the already mentioned WĘDRUJĄCY WIATR and FALL plays here. The group borrowed the lyrics from Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer, a prominent Polish poet. Overall, I really liked the RIVERS LIKE VEINS side, and I'll probably turn to two other released of the band fortunately, they are not difficult to get, since they also came out on the Werewolf Promotion. I think a closer acquaintance will also help clarify some incomprehensible musical points.
After the 11 tracks mentioned in the tracklist, a surprise awaits the listener: a joint work of both groups, a 22-minute instrumental track performed on a semi-acoustic guitar and synthesizer with a sample of birds chirping. As usual, a good melody, repeated without changes about 200 times in a row, makes you lose the sense of time and share with the musicians their favorite way of spending time. In general, the instrumental compositions on the split fully convey its essence, and metal, you can say, only adds details.
The split is released in a standard jewel with an 8 page booklet. There are no texts again, but for the STWORZ side they are available on the Internet. The design, oddly enough, this time was done not by Misty Visions Art, but by some Orkan Graphics. The designer made sure that everything turned out beautifully and meaningfully. The empty spaces for the texts are occupied by thematic folklore paintings, which are interesting to see. Details on a video.