This is the follow up to 2015’s very enjoyable Pod Niebem Utkanym z Popiołu, which demonstrated the band’s progressive/folk-influenced black metal very well.
On Sporysz the band have increased the progressive metal and folk components of their sound. This means that the progressive sophistication and nuance that we experienced on their previous album has been made even more prominent on this latest one, and Sporysz contains 43 minutes of sleek, impressive metal.
On their last release I described it as a mixing of Enslaved, Thy Worshiper, and Opeth, and I think that this description still largely holds. Folk influences share space with progressive metal structures, making for involved songs that have enough substance to make for a compelling listen. Soft acoustics sit side by side with heavy, emotive riffs, backed up with sharp blackened delivery where necessary. The band manage to take a wide range of influences into their sound, without ever coming across as disjointed or spread too thin.
The vocals run the spectrum from gruff growls, to savage screams, to shouted cleans, to spoken word, and all other manner of styles. Much like the bulk of the music, the delivery is diverse and varied, while still remaining coherent and within the constraints of their given style.
This is a well-crafted and well-performed slab of extreme metal. Played with style and finesse, but with enough grit and force to still appeal to lovers of aggression and extremity, Sporysz is a thoughtful and considered release that has plenty of physical power to back up its mental presence.
Don’t let this pass you by without giving it some time.