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Pogavranjen – Jedva Čekam Da Nikad Ne Umrem (Album Stream)

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I’ve always enjoyed black metal’s strangest, most avant-garde acts. From the dizzying sounds of Ved Buens Ende’s Written in Waters to Dødheimsgard’s massive A Umbra Omega, black metal’s history has been consistently strange, if not incredibly self-indulgent. When you think about it, the proliferation of more conservative black metal seems to have happened within the last decade – Fleurety, Ved Buens Ende, and Dødheimsgard were all very active in the second wave, which begs the question: where did the strangeness go?

Croatia’s Pogavranjen must have wondered the same thing, and set out as a monument to black metal’s annals of oddity. Strange enough in name, “Pogavranjen” being a nonsense word meaning “a person who has morphed into a were-raven” the band invented in a drunken stupor.

Their third full-length effort shows them falling deeper and deeper down the transformative rabbit hole. Whereas most “psychedelic” metal bands treat their albums like a slowly blooming flower, letting the sound experiments increase gradually before reaching an extreme peak at the end, Pogavranjen’s approach is an endless black hole of sonic excess – a chunky mass of clattering dissonance, jazz beats, eerie synthesizers, and nihilistic, snarling vocalizations (which are very, very reminiscent of Carl-Michael “Czarl” Eide’s). Though this could come off as messy, Pogavranjen are effective in their performance; everyone knows their place and feeds well off of each other. Excess is definitely a pitfall in most other adventurous metal bands—who often losing complete control or just sounding messy and haphazard—but Pogavranjen never loses sight of their vision, however disparate and calamitous it may be.

Eat me to grow tall, drink me to shrink small, and fall far, far down the rabbit hole with Pogavranjen.

Listen to an exclusive stream of the bizarre, breathtaking Jedva Čekam Da Nikad Ne Umrem below, and be sure to pick up a copy from Arachnophobia Records on February 15th.

—Jon Rosenthal

Follow Pogavranjen on Facebook and Bandcamp

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