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Friday, February 26, 2021

Review: Xificurk – 1410

Label: Void Wanderer Productions

Date: March 31st, 2021

I know what you’re going to ask. Just read it backwards and you will get the answer.

Furthermore, I’ve done some research into the title of this EP and the best explanation I could come up with is that it is dedicated to the battle of Grunwald. Taking into account that Xificurk is a band hailing from Poland and the battle in question was fought between the Poles (among others) and the famous Teutonic knights. Won by the Poles, of course. Further insight into my assumption can be found in the introduction to this recording where you will come across some Gregorian chants.

However, I might be wrong here. Nevertheless, being a history buff myself, I quite enjoyed researching deeper into the matter of the battle itself. It led me to some interesting discoveries, so I would recommend you to look into it yourself.

Even if it means skipping “1410”, the EP, completely.

Speaking honestly, the second effort by this Polish band will not give you anything new. Not in the slightest. Four tracks giving out the length of over half an hour needs much more than it actually has.

I forgot to mention that Xificurk deals with black metal, though you could have figured that one out yourself just by reading their name backwards. Speaking of black metal, the Poles are offering a fairly raw and basic version of the genre. With such a length, the music presented here is clearly intended to atmosphere much more than to primal aggression and fury. There’s some of those too, but just fragmentally. Also, the four tracks offer some versatility but unfortunately it is not nearly enough to cover the whole length of each of them. Hence, what you will hear is quite a number of repetitive patterns that are not interesting or inventive enough to keep the listener’s attention.

Of course, there are brighter moments on “1410”. Some drum patterns do present themselves as unexpected and sort of intriguing. Occasional lead guitar can also fall under such categorization. Then again, I have a feeling these subtle keyboards could be used much more effectively. Parts of “Durmak” offer a keyboard highlight that can be a beacon for the future. The bass guitar has a prominent place in the overall soundscape, but it feels like a trailing instrument which does next to nothing for the general feel of the record.

Still, the biggest fault of Xificurk is without a shadow of doubt the vocal execution. I mean, these distorted shrieks could fit some depressive black metal experiments, but if my presumption about a medieval battle is correct, there needs to be a much stronger voice to support such a fierce and epic theme.

Basically, what I’m saying here is that “1410” is a release that should appeal to the uncritical fans of second wave Norwegian black metal. If you still cannot get enough of music such as early Burzum (both sides of it), Darkthrone or Immortal, you should go ahead and look for one of only 50 copies of this tape. Otherwise, you are missing nothing that you shouldn’t.