Furia is the more 'artistic' side band of Poland's Massemord, formed by four of the members. Grudzień za Grudniem is their second full-length album, and quite a study in contrasts. You will first notice the minimalism of the cover image, which is both hypnotic and inviting. It made me want to dive deeply into this album, and I was rewarded favorably for taking the journey. Grudzień za Grudniem alternates between an intense, hymnal melodic form of black metal and numerous acoustic, proggish rock insertions. There is an air of romance which offset's the band's blasting frenzy, and the result is a work of many peaks and valleys.
"Jeszcze i Jeszcze" provides a fine macrocosm of what is to come, with a tranquil acoustic intro ruptured after a moment by the tearing black rhythms and torn throat of Nihil. "Zgniłem" is a hyperblast volley that conceives a very lush and warm pattern of notes which whispers of desperation and transcendence, before breaking into acoustics while Nihil's tortured vocals persist. "Przechrzczony" is insane, howls of terror reverberating beyond the snaking, creepy lines of melody that counterbalance the thrusting rhythm. "Zmierzch za Zmierzchem" is again intense, I love the war drum segments beneath the glowering majesty of the guitar walls. The album is rounded out by the grim and beautiful "...", the crashing, somber "U Krza Stoi Olsza" and the 10-minute "Kim Jesteś?"
The album sears with both pain and bliss, and it's seriously the best thing I've heard from this particular group of musicians, far more interesting than Massemord and superior even to the exquisite Furia debut Martwa Polska Jesień. It might take a few spins to truly appreciate, but I highly recommend this to fans of fast, melodic black metal.
Highlights: Zgniłem, Przechrzczony, ...
Verdict: Epic Win [9/10]