ALBUM REVIEW: Turin Turambar - Czas Braku Wojny (PAGAN RECORDS)

Czas braku wojny roughly translates to 'No war time' or 'Time of absence of war' in English. The phrase also exemplifies the fact that I don't know a lick of Polish. And, that's fine really, because Turin Turambar's music finds a way to transcend that barrier somewhat. I mean, sure, I do not understand the lyrics at all (I really wish I did) - but the music is what really matters, right?
I would certainly like to think so...

Preferring to be labelled as 'bizarre' and 'hard to categorize', Turin Turambar directs the sound of Czas braku wojny in any direction it feels.  It isn't random in any respect, as TT has quite a few releases under it's belt already and definitely knows how to make music, but it doesn't really follow a exact subgenre header. However, what you'll find here isn't so alien or strange that you'll be lost for words - it's more just a interweaving of black and traditional death metal.

What really matters, as I said, is the music. In this regard, Turin Turambar dishes out a rather surprising selection of tracks. Having not heard the project before, I expected a extremely low-fi black metal offering with giant walls of distortion. Maybe that's stereotyping at this point, who knows? Either way, that isn't what Czas braku wojny is all about. The composition of this album is all about providing a sinister tone to it's listeners. No matter how fast it can get at times, or how rock-like the occasional section can be, Turin Turambar turns it all around at some point to provide a somewhat unsettling feeling of urgency. It begs you to listen to what's there, and what's being said (though that more appeals to Polish audiences, in this case).



On a purely metalhead level, Czas braky wojny is bound to catch your ear even if you don't like black metal. There is much that reminds me of my own stacks of traditional death metal records, especially phenomenal tracks like 'Śmierci szukam'. Sure it can be pretty simple, but the build ups, somewhat tribal-influenced drums, and how things can fade, linger, and return in full force. It's truly something to behold. Though if I was to say anything stood out, aside from the lyrics, it would no doubt be the drums. As songs can jump back and forth through several different tempos and styles, it was nice to hear that the drums were able to bridge and flow into each section rather effectively. Sure, it isn't going to blow you away, and if you've heard any metal before 1990 you'll be utterly familiar, but as a whole there is some pretty decent work on display here.

Perhaps if I knew just a bit of Polish, Czas braky wojny would stick out for me a little bit more. I understand the music and the tone, but the message isn't there for a English listener. Still, I feel that the album is very much worth a listen or even more then that. I wouldn't hold the claims of being super strange and far out too close to the chest, however. There isn't anything here that will alienate or feel odd in any real way to seasoned metalheads. I wouldn't even go so far as to call it a acquired taste. Still, that is beside the point - Turin Turambar, simply put, has put forth a excellent album that just about any black or death metal fan can enjoy.

-KEITH H.-

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