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Biesy Captures Urban Ethos with Debut Album (Full Stream)

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Urban or rural, cityscape or countryside, man-made or natural: we’re dichotomous when it comes to place. There’s an inherent conflict between the built environment and pure nature. For everything humans construct, we replace (or displace) something else’s natural existence, or its possibility. How we arrange our surroundings reshapes our lived experience, i.e. how we interact, how we move about, how we understand ourselves in context, and how we respond to stimuli. The type of environment surrounding us profoundly affects who we are; who we eventually become profoundly affects how we understand that which contains us. Atmosphere, then, can both make and break meaning altogether.

Metal has been written explicitly about nature from innumerable perspectives. Maybe it involves escape, or seeking purity, or exploring einsamkeit and verloren. Beauty, too, and powerlessness in the face of nature’s infinite might and will. The urban environment, though, presents an entirely different set of emotional, existential, and symbolic touchpoints. Usually, they’re more intense, more involved, and more taxing: more stimuli, tighter spaces, greater stress. Loneliness, but for different reasons. Reality itself takes on new forms, some so extreme that we sometimes self-protectively detach from it. Surreality can take over. Is that a death, or some kind of transcendence? What is “adaptation” anyway?

Resting squarely on hard-edged atmospherics, Polish blackened death metal band Biesy explores lived experience vis-à-vis urban environments on their debut full-length Noc Lekkich Obyczajów. Musically and aesthetically, the album generates headspace conducive to truly imagining urban space: furor, harsh noise, rapidity, unpredictability, and subservience. The album however is not un-grounded. Its approach is acute, its execution is precise, and its structure is architectural. Below, check out an exclusive stream of Noc Lekkich Obyczajów prior to its September 9th release date.

Even amidst urban hustle, sanctuary can be found. Likewise, Biesy is not incessant or overly forceful on Noc Lekkich Obyczajów: they understand the importance of pause, even mid-song. But the tension remains… the city still lives and breathes outside your door, as it will forever and invincibly. The encapsulation aspect is of focus here: Biesy maintains significant tension throughout the album’s six episodic tracks. Each one gripping, in a sense, but not always choking. Maybe that’s what real suffering is: forever moving back and forth from the edge. Forever moving inside to outside, outside to inside.

Out there it’s pure commotion, a veritable tumult: a ravishing and perplexing sight, but also morbid in its helplessness. It’s the chaos that exists only because it exists — because that is the absurd nature of the universe and all things. Noc Lekkich Obyczajów, while not entropic, spasms with chaotic delight from introspective, melody-driven retreats to mind-exploding, blast beat-driven assaults. The most aggressive moments — like the climaxes on “W Krew” and “Czerń Nas Prosi” — are furious and lucid; the soundtrack to the world’s busiest, dirtiest, most human streets. That’s not to say that there isn’t a dark melody to it all. Biesy operates with surgical precision in extracting melody from the madness: with tense build-ups, rockable verses, and unusual asides. If you think about it, there’s a bizarre symphony to the way densely-packed humans move about.

Production-wise, Noc Lekkich Obyczajów balances the shrill tearing of high-string chords and cymbal crashes with punchy and pronounced bass, all crystal-clear. Some may actually prefer grittier and raunchier, but that would distract from Biesy’s superb (and understated) instrumentation. Long-drawn, angular, and interwoven moments (mostly guitar-driven) — like the ending to the 11-and-a-half minute penultimate track “Rzucony W Przestrzeń” — add an almost progressive flavor. A movement from sordid brooding to eye-watering exclamation, with a frightening, ambient-inspired twist in the middle.

Noc Lekkich Obyczajów, in both its avant-weirdness and aesthetic perfection, carves out a little niche in the nexus of black and death metal. It feels like it was written aesthetically first, then materially: perhaps mad thoughts driven by the madness of urbanity. The album is a reflection upon itself in that sense, and what it sees brings dread and horror — yet in the process of recognition, acceptance occurs. You live there, so you must survive. An at-oneness with chaos, almost by necessity. The truth, though, is that the city will kill you, eventually; whether mentally or physically, it does not care.

Biesy is a three-piece act: PR (music and lyrics), Stawrogin (vocals), and MP (drums). Follow Biesy on Facebook here. Pre-order Noc Lekkich Obyczajów here.

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