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Label: Smrt Razuma / Mind Eraser / DHP AK47 / Zapana Blacio

Date: December 16th, 2022

I said it before and I’ll repeat it until the day I die. Compilations matter! Whether you’re thinking of Spotify playlists, radio podcasts or the old school physical mix CDs, doesn’t make a difference. These are just different sides to the same story.

In this particular case, Smrt Razuma appeared on a compilation cassette tape and that’s where I found them. Well, I heard the name before as it keeps coming up all the time in local hardcore circles. I’ve seen the cover of the record as well. Though it’s an absolute masterpiece, it didn’t convince me to check out the band. In all honesty, the band’s logo as well as the front cover tended to remind me of extreme metal and judging the book by its cover, as I did, I kept thinking it will be some noisy violent nonsense. I try to learn from experience and unfortunately, in this regard it comes in abundance on my shelves. Suffice to say, I’m no stranger to wasting money.

But two songs (turns out these are not off this album) are part of the recently reviewed “Groblje Iluzija” compilation cassette. Luckily enough, the LP didn’t sell out, so I took the opportunity at a recent get-together at our favorite Hard Corner. Let’s just say, no money was wasted that day.

This quartet from Croatia smashes their way through powerful hardcore punk with just a bit of crossover thrash so that the metalheads within don’t feel neglected. Traces of crust / d-beat are there to justify the mentioned cover artwork and its lenience to nihilistic undertones.

Be that as it may, the artwork (both front and back, pieces of Doomsday Graphics’ brilliance) is summing up the audio impact of the record. Complete with socially conscious lyrics, albeit fairly predictable yet strong and direct, “Nova Era Mraka” is a full package. It is driven by forceful and hard-hitting guitars and downright possessed drumming. Smrt Razuma is fast, tough and energetic to the brim of a thunderbolt. Adding Kruno’s pissed-off voice to the mix, there is no way not to feel exactly what the band felt while composing the record. These thoughts are perfectly transcribed into sonic and vocal execution.

Even more so into words that sometimes make you want to fight the suits in charge to their very own graves and then desecrate them too. Sometimes, these words are screams of utter despair before social injustices plaguing the world more than any Covid-19 ever could.

With under half an hour, Smrt Razuma could’ve done a hit and run with “Nova Era Mraka”. However, it is highly unlikely they are about running away. If anything, they would make the opponent pay dearly before getting to them. Staring right to the face of bleak reality and refusing to bow down guarantees an uneasy existence. Uneasy, yet bravely defiant even if faced with an undefeatable foe.

Reason commands obedience that leads to comfortably counting years until laying to the ultimate rest, living a meaningless, pointless life. But this band is called Death Of Reason.

P. S. I’ve accidentally left my record player set to 45 RPM. Funnily enough, Smrt Razuma’s music works real well even in that speed. Unlike the vocals which are just funny.

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