Non Opus Dei – Diabeł (Review)

Non Opus DeiThis is the seventh album from Polish Black Metal band Non Opus Dei.

I really enjoyed Non Opus Dei’s Split with Morowe a few years ago. It even made it onto my Best of 2013 End of Year List, so it’s good to have this new release from them rear its head.

The band continue to play Black Metal that’s atypical and unusual. Sure, most of the hallmark features of the style are here, but Non Opus Dei seem to have this unfailing ability to do things a bit different than the norm. Which is great, of course.

The stylistic riffs give the band a modern sheen, yet the fact that the guitars and melodies are deeply Blackened results in songs that sound trapped between the atavistic, more obscure past of Traditional Black Metal and a more stylised, sophisticated sound. It works though, as the band take the best of both worlds and meet it in the middle, ensuring Diabeł reaps the benefits of this hybrid approach.

The inclusion of Progressive and Technical aspects in their sound in addition to the raw emotive platform of their Blackened core means that, once again, they are taking influence and inspiration from various, sometimes conflicting, sources and fitting them, (successfully), into their music. The resulting songs merge the simplistic older style with a newer, more complex style to great effect.

Highly recommended.

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Non Opus Dei/Morowe – Dziwki Dei (Review)

Non Opus Dei/MoroweA Black Metal split between two Polish bands; Non Opus Dei and Morowe.

Non Opus Dei are up first, with three tracks of unconventional Black Metal. First track Dziwki Dei almost comes across as a Black Metal Meshuggah, if you can imagine such a thing. Think less Djent though, and more just…unusual. It works. The next track continues its off-kilter approach to Black Metal, with some interesting guitar rhythms and drum patterns.  The final song assaults the speakers and completes the trilogy of songs that although definitely non-traditional, still fit comfortably within the Black Metal fold. Enjoyable.

Next are Morowe who also contribute three tracks. They are a different beast and start proceedings off gently, only to thunder in with a Katatonia-esque riff that gets things moving quite nicely. Vocals are deeper and darker than those of Non Opus Dei and saturate the music with a feeling of terror, further heightened by some claustrophobic guitar-work conjured by the band. The second song starts with slightly cleaner vocals and interesting drum-work. Subtle keyboard highlights help progress the song to great effect, moving into grandiose and epic territory, without ever sounding safe or hopeful. Some well-considered guitars help seal in the sense of unease, and then suddenly are joined by a psychedelic 70’s guitar moment that initially appears quite jarringly, but after a couple of seconds reveals itself to be a stroke of genius and just sounds great. And then on into Post-Metal territory before wrapping up. The final track Czyj to Glos is much shorter than the other two and has a jazzy feel. These three songs are both ambitious and successful. A mark of great things to come.

A strong release showcasing the talents of both bands at creating some nicely non-standard Black Metal. Get it if you can.