Serbian black metallers Kolac (‘The Stake’ in English) have been ploughing their savage furrow since 2008, and ‘Zauvek crni’ marks their second full length after 2011’s ‘Bastard Son is Dead’. It came out on Grom Records at the end of last year, and its a delightfully traditional black metal record.
The opening double hit of ‘U smrti zatecen’ and ‘4 boga jarca’ are both very traditional black metal assaults; from their slightly murky production to the riff patterns and the snarling vocal rasp. This is not to suggest that Kolac aren’t capable of writing a good quality song or two, (see ‘I Am Thy Devil’ as a perfect example), but their approach is no nonsense, straightforward and endearingly simple. The title track is rife with icy melodies and an obvious Immortal influence, especially in some of the croakier vocals.
For me, ‘Zauvek crni’ is a triumph of black metal traditionalism over the more atmopsheric or esoteric examples of the genre that have become much more prevalent these days. That indomitable Slavic spirit infests each frozen riff, each impassioned howl and every glacial melody. Closing with the relentless battering of ‘Mary (The God-Raped), Kolac show that Balkan black metal is strong, fierce and yet still unsettlingly melodic in places. Hail fire and Satan.