Furia - W Śnialni review



Reviewer:
3.0

25 users:
5.56
Band: Furia
Album: W Śnialni
Release date: February 2021


01. Wesele W Śnialni
02. Tancowały Chochoły Wyjawienie


If you like Polish black metal, you should know Furia. If you don't, you need to correct that mistake immediately; but avoid W Śnialni at all costs.

With an impressive string of stellar black metal releases that had been turning more and more experimental since 2013, Furia have always been an interesting, inspiring, and admirable band. And a very consistent one as well, in terms of frequency of releasing new music. Up until now that is, since five long years have gone by since Księżyc Milczy Luty. And nowadays they promote themselves as a nekrofolk act (whatever that means) and have just released an album that was recorded in a single day. In 2019. In a painting studio. With guest appearances by actors involved with, among others, the National Old Theatre in Kraków and a miners' orchestra.

The press release reads: "Furia went on a journey, through a labyrinth. She went down near Szczepański Square, wandered along the corridors under the park, under Wawel Castle, and the moon was shining, while the mountain wind was blowing, even though it was underground. She returned to the world under the sky, in the attic, in a painting studio near Spodek in Katowice. They brought some music with themů"

Well, if they brought some music with them, where is it exactly? Was it lost in that labyrinth? Because there are only crumbs of music to be found here. Instead, there are sounds and voices and other effects that give the impression that the whole thing is a musical drama or a radio play and not a music album. And not only that but the best part of this release musically is towards the very end of "Wesele W Śnialni" and it is the exact same riff heard in "Za Ćmą, W Dym" which was the opening track of Furia's magnificent previous album with which they also participated in Wesele (Wedding) in 2017 at Stary Theatre.

I suppose W Śnialni has something to do with that theatrical performance by Furia. I cannot say for sure what the exact connection is though because I don't speak the language. Not that it would make much difference to my (lack of) enjoyment if I did speak Polish. In all fairness, it wouldn't have bothered me so much had this been promoted as an EP or as a video with actors actually performing and with the music taking a background role. Because this is nothing more than a theatrical improvisation / jamming session and not a studio album, with music being just a component and not even the main component. As a record, this has zero replay value. Promoting this as a studio album is pretentious, lazy, and a massive disappointment. If you want to experience theatrical prose in a spectacular black metal record, check out Cultes Des Ghoules' Coven, ironically coming from Poland too.

Apart from the cover art, nothing else is interesting here. The title 'W Śnialni' roughly translates to 'The Dream Room' but this is more like the room of nightmares. Having been silent as far as recording music is concerned for five whole years, Furia somehow thought it'd be a good idea to release this bad dream. Someone please wake me up.


 



Written on 23.02.2021 by Only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud!


Comments

Comments: 17   Visited by: 141 users
23.02.2021 - 09:25
BetulaObscura
Clearly, it was musical EP experiment - not "regular" LP release. It is closer to free jazz approach and improvisations in my opinion. Which is far away from classical metal approach. I can't imagine listen to it as a regular album, that's why I give this "album" only 1 (so far). I will listen it more in the future but I won't be surprised if I will never back to it again!
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"The streets were dark with something more than night" - Raymond Chandler
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23.02.2021 - 10:32
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Kinda feels bad that this is the first Furia album to get reviewed.
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Jusqu'ici, tout va bien...

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23.02.2021 - 10:47
nikarg
Mod
Written by BetulaObscura on 23.02.2021 at 09:25

Clearly, it was musical EP experiment - not "regular" LP release.

Yes, hopefully it is nothing more than that. But it is being promoted as LP and it has LP price. And it was recorded two years ago. After Martwa Polska Jesień they had releases every two years, sometimes more often even. There now has been a 5-year break and this is what comes out. I am quite pessimistic as to how inspired they are at the moment and I very much hope they prove me wrong.


Written by RaduP on 23.02.2021 at 10:32

Kinda feels bad that this is the first Furia album to get reviewed.

It does feel bad. They are top-tier black metal and I love all their previous work.
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23.02.2021 - 13:43
Karlabos
Weirdo of MS
Oh boy, when ppl shit on a previous solid band for being experimental it means it's probably good. Gotta check this one out
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Rose is red, violet is blue. Flag is win, Baba is you.
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23.02.2021 - 20:25
DeliciousDishes
annoying
I really went into this expecting to kind of hate it, but was pleasantly surprised in the first song. Midway through I even really liked it. But at the end it gets ruined by obnoxious production changes. Also fuck, guys stop arguing in the background of this, I'm getting anxious. There's a really cool jammy drone record in here somewhere. But there's too much stuff that kinda sucks and the sudden changes in production are annoying as hell.
----
You are the hammer, I am the nail
building a house in the fire on the hill
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23.02.2021 - 20:51
BetulaObscura
Written by RaduP on 23.02.2021 at 10:32

Kinda feels bad that this is the first Furia album to get reviewed.


I wrote first Furia review. I did it more than 3 years ago...
----
"The streets were dark with something more than night" - Raymond Chandler
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23.02.2021 - 20:59
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by BetulaObscura on 23.02.2021 at 20:51

I wrote first Furia review. I did it more than 3 years ago...

My bad, was only looking at staff reviews.
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Jusqu'ici, tout va bien...

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23.02.2021 - 21:00
BetulaObscura
Written by RaduP on 23.02.2021 at 20:59

Written by BetulaObscura on 23.02.2021 at 20:51

I wrote first Furia review. I did it more than 3 years ago...

My bad, was only looking at staff reviews.


No worries!
Cheers!
----
"The streets were dark with something more than night" - Raymond Chandler
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23.02.2021 - 21:44
Andrew_Deer
None,really
Is the rating fair though? I guess it's quite hard to get a full picture when you don't speak the language.

Also, what is the perspective you give the rating from? Like from general black metal music? Shouldn't give the 'experimental' tag give it some sort of leverage? I mean, I actually like it but I am not listening to it as black metal.
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23.02.2021 - 23:04
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Andrew_Deer on 23.02.2021 at 21:44

Is the rating fair though? I guess it's quite hard to get a full picture when you don't speak the language.

Also, what is the perspective you give the rating from? Like from general black metal music? Shouldn't give the 'experimental' tag give it some sort of leverage? I mean, I actually like it but I am not listening to it as black metal.

As someone who agrees with the rating: I came already expecting something really out-there. It isn't a 3/10 because it's not black metal. It's a 3/10 because the experiment really didn't go anywhere. Kinda like Lulu, except Lulu had its moments.
----
Jusqu'ici, tout va bien...

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24.02.2021 - 02:22
nikarg
Mod
Written by Andrew_Deer on 23.02.2021 at 21:44

Is the rating fair though? I guess it's quite hard to get a full picture when you don't speak the language.

Also, what is the perspective you give the rating from? Like from general black metal music? Shouldn't give the 'experimental' tag give it some sort of leverage? I mean, I actually like it but I am not listening to it as black metal.

The rating is fair because this is a very bad release. What the actors say in Polish shouldn't really matter since this is not a visual release but a "music" album. The gist of what they say is in the press release excerpt that I quoted in the review anyway. If the music takes up less than a third of the total runtime and if the best of this music has actually already appeared in a previous album, there is not much to discuss. The perspective of the rating has been explained in detail in the review, I don't want to repeat myself. And no, I am not judging it from a general black metal perspective. Furia have been experimental in the past and being experimental is not a problem at all. But a turd is a turd, labelling it 'experimental' does not make it any less of a turd.

I am pleased you like it though, I really am. But I would also be interested to know how many total plays it will have gotten by you come the end of the year. Because, at the end of the day, the rating should reflect the replay value somehow, shouldn't it?
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24.02.2021 - 03:15
UnknownCheese
I've seen a few people talk about context in regards to the poor reception this is getting. I'm not interested in whether or not I can understand the Polish or not (they're singing total nonsense from what I've seen from Polish forum users), it's just bad music. Nothing about this makes me want to sit through this again.
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24.02.2021 - 08:25
BetulaObscura
Written by UnknownCheese on 24.02.2021 at 03:15

I've seen a few people talk about context in regards to the poor reception this is getting. I'm not interested in whether or not I can understand the Polish or not (they're singing total nonsense from what I've seen from Polish forum users), it's just bad music. Nothing about this makes me want to sit through this again.


Furia doesn't sing "nonsense" on previous albums. This is poetry and it is quite good (to say the least) poetry. Some Polish forum users have problems with basic lectures so i am not surprised they don't get something metaphoric.

Knowing Polish is not necessarily to enjoy Furia music though. Sure, it can elevate whole music experience like every good lyrics does.

Regardless, call that thing an "album" is an abuse. This is just background random sounds... I am very disappointed!
----
"The streets were dark with something more than night" - Raymond Chandler
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24.02.2021 - 13:11
Andrew_Deer
None,really
Written by nikarg on 24.02.2021 at 02:22

The rating is fair because this is a very bad release. What the actors say in Polish shouldn't really matter since this is not a visual release but a "music" album. The gist of what they say is in the press release excerpt that I quoted in the review anyway. If the music takes up less than a third of the total runtime and if the best of this music has actually already appeared in a previous album, there is not much to discuss. The perspective of the rating has been explained in detail in the review, I don't want to repeat myself. And no, I am not judging it from a general black metal perspective. Furia have been experimental in the past and being experimental is not a problem at all. But a turd is a turd, labelling it 'experimental' does not make it any less of a turd.

I am pleased you like it though, I really am. But I would also be interested to know how many total plays it will have gotten by you come the end of the year. Because, at the end of the day, the rating should reflect the replay value somehow, shouldn't it?


Well, spoken word isn't a visual aspect but I guess I understand what you mean. I guess another differnce in the reception might be that I wasn't expecting this album, so talks about "a new album" didn't really get to me, I just saw a new Furia release and thought "what a coincidence" since I started with this whole Polish BM Wave 3 months ago or so...

Sure, it's going to be featured in my general shuffled playlist but I think (compared to most of other music there) it won't be skipped. The replayability argument is fair though, it wasn't really something I considered myself (which I clearly should have), but to me a lot of music has very simillar (dronesque) features but is rated generally better, like Boris or Sunn O))). Also, a lot of it comes down to the quality of production (for me, that is) which Furia certainly has, I therefore understand jumps in production as some sort of artistic expression, otherwise they probably wouldn't be there.

Written by RaduP on 23.02.2021 at 23:04

As someone who agrees with the rating: I came already expecting something really out-there. It isn't a 3/10 because it's not black metal. It's a 3/10 because the experiment really didn't go anywhere. Kinda like Lulu, except Lulu had its moments.


I am sorry to hear that. I like this much more than Metallica with orchestra. But then again, my only favourite album by Metallica is St. Anger, therefore I guess my argument is invalid automatically.

______

I must agree with BetulaObscura there as our native language educations are quite simillar and we are not really getting educated in interpretation of art.
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24.02.2021 - 19:48
Archie 666
I find it funny that in the context of the comments above one of the styles in the description of this album is a 'musical drama'.
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28.02.2021 - 23:09
DeliciousDishes
annoying
Written by Andrew_Deer on 23.02.2021 at 21:44

Is the rating fair though? I guess it's quite hard to get a full picture when you don't speak the language.

Also, what is the perspective you give the rating from? Like from general black metal music? Shouldn't give the 'experimental' tag give it some sort of leverage? I mean, I actually like it but I am not listening to it as black metal.

well you now discovered the inherent problem with ratings, they're shorthand but always require a very detailed explanation to be useful.
I don't think many people approach this through a black metal lense (partially cause Furia's brand of black metal wasn't really that traditional anyways). I don't like giving ratings but the explanation makes it fair enough: this tried and utterly failed at being experimental and just kinda seems lazy. Of course knowing the language might elevate it, but even if I did understand this and it was some Faust level poetry going on in it, I doubt I would enjoy it simply due to how it is handled on a technical level.
----
You are the hammer, I am the nail
building a house in the fire on the hill
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08.03.2021 - 19:13
tsd
Despite the harsh comments, there is some potential in it that's being overlooked. True, W śnialni is simplistic in its musical layer compared to other works of Furia but is great complexity a requirement for background music to a theatre play?

Funny how quickly the record gets slammed universally for being experimental.

Experimental records tend to require more spins to get understood. Experimental stuff like this record has (and will) get appreciated more and more (thinking My Dying Bride 34,788%...) but appreciation is not normally granted for such works on the first few listens.

The chief difficulty in getting to appreciate may be the language barrier and perhaps get to grips with the stage dialogues. The riffs are trance-like and some to be honest quite catchy. True, they sound unpolished and a result of a jam session. And while it's very much an improvisation, there is black metal spirit all over this experiment.

Borrowing a riff isn't a crime, there are bands releasing entire albums' worth of recycled riffs. Given the idea for the record diverges from a typical EP, Furia is vindicated in borrowing what they saw fit in a theatre play.

True, publishing it under the Furia monicker is controversial. Heard Lux Occulta's excellent Kołysanki? This is but one parallel to draw in its spoken parts. That record also felt experimental on its release date, unlike the band's earlier output.

It's easier to swallow this record as a way to showcase Nihil's ability to produce music for a theatrical performance (and to interact with the different ways of theatrical expression). Who knows, if it gets the attention of another theatre director like Jan Klata, earning Nihil another successful collaboration (and likewise, all shows sold out)? In that sense, this record is meant for a more professional listener.

I don't think an artist should be slagged off for making a non standard release, especially if it seems rather rough or experimental. In fact, bands do far worse releasing their own stuff on countless special releases, colour vinyls, best ofs or rerecording, all a many grab. W śnialni isn't any of those. Nihil probably appreciates it enough the album will get mixed reviews and likely does not care. Good artists don't (or rather, should not) care about reception, or cater to popular tastes. Too bad for the listener that the album doesn't meet the expectations of a typical black metal fan, for every record has to go well with the public...
Consider this album an honest record and a rare opportunity to capture a performance that only lucky ones enjoyed (performances of Wesele with Furia were known to sell out in a matter of minutes).

My theory around this record is it's probably released out of sheer covid boredom and borne out of why the hell not attitude. On its merit though, especially long-term low replay factor, I find it difficult to rate the record anything but an average album, subject to change on further listens.
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