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Label: Self released

Date: June 3rd, 2023

As I said in previous reviews for Serbian bands and their new albums, this year definitely gave us good music. Half of the year passed and we already have at least five new albums and yet more to come. Kolac, Шакал, Strahor, Chronogoria and now Оскрнавитељ. This band is still really young. They got on the scene in 2021. The first time I heard them live was at one of their first gigs in club Garaža, Belgrade, as a part of a really good musical event that lasted two days under the name Extreme Metal Festival. We made a concert report about the event here in Abaddon Magazine. Back then they were totally unknown to me but they are maybe the only band I remember from that concert until this day. They surely got one new fan thanks to that festival. For a long time, fans begged them to make an album so waiting really paid off. Оскрнавитељ published in digital form their firstborn album called “Прадавни” (“Pre-ancient”).

Оскрнавитељ consists of only four people with extremely rich experience when it comes to music. To make things better, they have a lady lead singer, Vrika aka Ivana Savić who is one of the most specific and one of the best female vocalists from Serbia. Her musical background is also big but what divides her from others is that she is a real black metal vocalist and that’s rare and very hard to handle.

Anyway, “Прадавни” is an album that really got us back to the first roots of black metal. Rough and fast from its first riff, this album showed us the virtuosity of this band. When it comes to black metal as a genre, without some mixing with other genres and effects, it’s hard to make even one song, not to mention a whole album, sound good and not hard for the ears to listen to.

After a short introduction of wolf howling that I just adore to hear, the song “Оскрнавитељ” hit me immediately with its fast drumming and guitar riffs. With its poetic lyrics, it represents the essence of the band’s work. Important to mention is that this is the first song they published as a single back in February this year. By reading the comments below I remember people going crazy, so the album just had to be made.

The next song “Оковани” (“Chained”) really woke up the evil spirits and made me headbang. Next to shredding background melody, incredible Ivana’s growl really fit into the entire song and album. Raw and high, it gives a specific mark to the album.

“Кад је месец пун” (“When the moon is full”) is a song that got everything in a package. Interesting lyrics next to even more interesting melody make this song absolutely the best. The atmosphere dark and scary gives an impression that this is some kind of an ode to his majesty, the wolf. A beautiful animal with a long history in our mythology.

The album ends with “Хладно руно планина” (“Cold fur of the mountains”) that is also one of my favorites with the atmosphere that just transfers you to some dark, enchanted Serbian forest. To make it vivid, the beautiful cover art is definitely how I imagine it in my head.

There is not much philosophy or words to describe this album musically because black metal can’t surprise you much. To someone it’s just too much noise (probably to the fans of Maneskin) but bands like Оскрнавитељ really know the essence of playing this genre. Of course, it doesn’t mean other songs sound the same and we can hear that in “Прадавни” from the first to the last song. Central figure here is the subject and poetically written lyrics. Mysticism, mythology and evil. Everything us humans are scared of, because we just don’t understand it, is always a good subject to sing about. Wolf, as I said, in Serbian mythology, has an important place as a personification of some Slavic gods. Reasons for that are its independence, strength and appearance. Wolf is definitely a symbol of pre-ancient times and Оскрнавитељ made an effort to describe it.

This was one of pleasant surprises this year on the Serbian metal scene. I hope that this majestic band will soon offer us some good shows and music. I know I am not the only one with those wishes.

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