Written by: PP on 05/10/2011 03:44:25

For my next review we're staying in Poland, in black metal, and on the same label. Mastiphal, as they are called, are a more traditional affair, however, given their origin from the first wave of Polish black metal bands from the early 90s (notably the same one where Behemoth originates from). They've had some member shuffles and held a ten-year break in releasing material before their latest album "Parvzya", but that doesn't seem to have hindered their flourishing songwriting talent within the genre that might not be among the absolute elite in the genre, but functions well enough to warrant rating "Parvzya" as a noteworthy addition to the black metal family.

"Parvzya" is very much a black metal album in the classical 90s sense, in that it is rich in atmosphere and quite melodic, as opposed to the relentless blast beats and endless tremolo of the more modern incarnation of the genre. The vocals are mostly delivered in horrifying shrieks, which isn't meant in a bad way, but in a suitable sacrifice some goats-kind of way. They underline that you're dealing with a one hundred percent black metal album pretty much.

What I really like about the record, though, is its careful usage of melody to contrast the bleak and blasphemous atmosphere surrounding the whole record. The band has a good sense for writing captivating black metal melodies that are more soothing than they are brutal, more tolerant than they are confrontational, which allows for a far more varied and interesting expression than your standard black metal affair. And they do this without the need to resort into keyboards, symphonies, backing tracks or anything like that, which says a lot about the talent of the folks behind this band. I don't know what they put into water in Poland but the sheer number of quality extreme metal bands in the country is bewildering; Mastiphal is yet another fine example of that.


Download: May He Rot In Hell, Man Strikes God Falls
For the fans of: Christ Agony, Moon, Vader
Listen: Myspace

Release date 15.05.2011
Witching Hour Productions

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