Hesperian Death Horse – Živ
Date: August 15, 2018
Well, thank you guys! I have a headache now. And you get half-a-grade down because I don’t have any aspirin in the house.
Joking aside, but a headache might as well be the result of hearing this album. “Živ” is packed to the brim with hard-to-swallow tones and words, and wrapped in an almost claustrophobic, hopeless atmosphere, even though the album title translates to “alive”. Thinking about it, this might just be the point of this release, since living in the world of today feels quite similar to what I heard in these 30 minutes.
It is no secret that I have never been a fan of anything “post”, and Hesperian Death Horse offers just that. Avant-garde mixture of genres that usually gets portrayed as Post Metal. Dissonance is the name of the game here, especially when you set aside an ear for guitar parts. Followed by an almost “jazzy” rhythm section, and vocals that, at times, seem to be no more than whispers. There are certainly a lot of things happening over the span of half-an-hour. That was to be expected from the beginning, especially seeing that no song lasts for under 6 minutes. Again, similar to life itself, the passages on “Živ” range from calm echoing moments, to pure, almost Black Metallish rage, with the whole array of emotions in between. Compositional work firmly stands the ground, and keeps the songs in some (weird) sort of order, keeping the band from drifting off, which seems like a real possibility sometimes. I couldn’t help but wonder what would Hesperian Death Horse sound in a jam session setting. Seem to me they could go on for hours without stopping. Sometimes this album feels exactly like that. Try leaving it on repeat, you will see what i mean.
This Croatian quartet has quite a strong lyrical background. No wonder they describe themselves as “black music with nihilistic poetry”. “Živ” is the second part of a trilogy encompassing the cycle of life. Interesting thing is that they have decided to release the albums in reverse, so the next one will be called “Birth”, and the first one was called “Mrtav” (engl. dead). I can’t judge the whole since I haven’t had the opportunity to check out the debut, but the general idea sounds intriguing.
Considering the fact that I’m usually not the one you should ask about bands like this, I did have a comfortable enough time with “Živ”. At least as much as an album like this can offer. This might just be a real treat for the more serious fans of such music (and indeed, I have seen a couple of positive opinions), so I can only tell you not to follow my opinion, but to check it out for yourselves, and make up your own mind.