Label: Hammer of Damnation
Date: February 13th, 2023
Praznina means “emptiness” in Serbian. It’s simple as a word when you read it but only “the chosen ones” know what that actually means. Emptiness is pretty familiar to people who went through a period when they just felt nothing after they felt too much. It’s one of the worst feelings and when someone reaches that level, you just know something is deeply wrong. I am not even sure if that is a feeling in psychology or it’s a statement of mind and soul but let’s see what Deimos had to say about that.
Anyway, Praznina is a new one-man project from Serbia led by Mr. Dimitrije Mirić aka Deimos. His work starts in 2022 with the first EP called “Podsvesno mrtav” (“Subconsciously dead”). After that one he made another EP called “Nedostižni zenith” (“Unreachable zenith”). Praznina is one of many solo projects in our country but surely worth mentioning. Nihilistic black metal, as I like to call it, to someone is boring or depressing but when you grow up with black metal artists by your side this must be interesting to a journalist like me. When an artist is giving effort to present us the blackest depths of himself, he has a lot to say and ours is to listen and hopefully understand.
“Podsvesno mrtav” is the first part of this compilation. Even though it consists of only three songs, this EP is something really deep and for a long time leaves a specific “aftertaste”. “Mudrost kroz patnju” (“Wisdom through suffering”), the opening song is definitely giving us the explanation of the entire Praznina work so far. Not so original with its melody which gives vibe of Mgla, the lyrics made this song what it is. Dark, deep and on some level sad, “Mudrost kroz patnju” is just a start of some life truth Praznina tells us here. “Podsvesno mrtav”, the central song with its melody is going out of the Mgla’s frame, luckily, and really promises that Daimos is a good musician. More doomy and less black, this song gives different vibe from the other two and makes an important part of this EP. In my opinion, the best from the entire compilation.
In this time of apathy mankind is subconsciously dead for a long time. It entered our souls, unfortunately, and sometimes there is no way out. “Večna.hladna.prazna” (“Eternal.Cold.Empty”), maybe the most depressing by its title, is an ode dedicated to the creepiest lady – Death. This presentation of death really reminds me of a character Ms. Death as a close and honest lady friend of Dylan Dog in the same-titled comic book. Death is coming to Dylan for a cup of talk when life is winning on the other side, to beg him to make her do some work. She is also always empty, cold and eternal.
As I am focused on lyrics here, I must admit that Praznina needs to work on style when it comes to writing, to combine sentences better and to make them rhyme. Maybe it’s not a part of his concept but it would sound better because in a few moments during reading it didn’t made any special sense in “Mudrost kroz patnju”. I consider songs as poems, so before a musician you are a writer.
Next part of this compilation is “Nedostižni zenit” which Praznina published a few months later. In my opinion, this is more mature and on many levels a better EP than “Podsvesno mrtav”. Musically and thematically adequate, it definitely will find its place in Serbian black metal history. Starting with a song called “Obličje i ništavilo”, Deimos really dragged me into the melancholy. The melody is slow, evil and dark and is completed with such good lyrics. In all songs on this EP, but specially the song “Nedostizni zenit”, vocals by Daimos are more defined and understandable than in “Podsvesno mrtav”. And they better be, because when you make music which actually gives focus on lyrics words need to be heard. Or poetically said – you owe that to your words. “Patnja.sjeta.bol” (“Suffering.Sorrow.Pain”), the closing song, is a masterpiece, in rank with The Stone. I hope Praznina will continue to make more songs like this and it definitely will be its mark.
This dark story has its mirror in the covering pictures. Both deep, dark and just empty. Praznina circled its point with that.
If I must take out the essential from Praznina’s work it will be the melancholy mixed with wisdom and just a touch of black metal. In my head it sounded smarter but let’s pretend I am smart. Praznina is on its path to become one of the good projects, but that path is long and made of thorns. It requires from Deimos to make music a bit more original, his appearance more shocking and albums a bit longer. He is already in that devil’s machine, let’s just hope that he will continue to be creative and dedicated to this without selling his soul to real emptiness.