Polish pagan metal band Stworz returns with a new album, 4 years after its previous full-length work. The band was formed in 2007 by Wojsław and Stworz is actually his personal project with the participation of some guest musicians. The band released its first two full-length albums in a short time, “Po Czasu Kres” in 2009 and “Synowie Słońca” in 2010. After an EP, a split with Fall, a compilation and a single, the time for the 3rd full-length has come. On 21st of June 2014 “Cóż Po Żyznych Ziemiach…” was released via Werewolf Promotion.
After several spins on the CD-player, I can clearly say that the band has made a music redirection in this album! While their previous works were moving closer to folk pagan black metal, with some extreme and some acoustic moments, “Cóż Po Żyznych Ziemiach…” has a more straightforward pagan metal approach, without the black metal elements of the past. As always, their guitars have a very dominant role in the compositions, with a deeper sound, and a somehow epic heavy doom metal influenced mood. Drums punctuate the epic rhythms of the songs, moving mostly in mid-tempos, while several acoustic traditional instruments add more authenticity in the nostalgic pagan atmosphere of their music. This time the traditional instruments might be in a more limited use, but the folk elements have totally penetrated their music, something obvious in the guitar riffs and the vocals. Wojsław’s black metal screams are gone; he now sings in a style closer to epic pagan metal, somewhere between clean and brutal vocals, neither too melodic nor too extreme. This way his vocals sound more expressive and passionate and they fit very well with his music. There are also clean male vocals and some background choirs, while the guest female vocals in “Matka Ziemia, Ojciec Słońce” (my personal favorite of the album) work very good and I hoped he used more of them. Beautiful acoustic interludes, natural sounds and some atmospheric “echoes” from the past offer an even bigger diversity in the album. “Cóż Po Żyznych Ziemiach…” includes 12 songs and its total duration is over 62 minutes. Of course lyrics are in Polish, dealing with pagan and nature related themes.
Stworz are back with another quality album, improving their sound and displaying a much more solid approach in their music. I admit I miss a little the blackened touches of the past, but that’s only a matter of personal taste. ”Cóż Po Żyznych Ziemiach…” is released via Werewolf Promotions in a jewel-case edition CD with 12-page booklet including photos of Warmian landscapes and paintings of romantic painters Włodzimierz Tetmajer and Józef Chełmoński. Both artwork and photography are simply amazing, perfect for the band’s music! For me the artwork alone could be a reason to buy this CD! You can visit the band’s official pages below for sound samples and more info.