Polemicist is a black metal band that was a bit easier for me to swallow, partly because of how incredible they were when I saw them live, and partly because of how melodic they are. Their album Zarathustrian Impressions molds in other extreme genres of metal and tells the Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche story Thus Spoke Zarathustra. To top it off, there’s a synth backing meant to insinuate symphonic elements that glaze the surface with a cleaner finish. So really, this isn’t the raw and rough slab of black metal accustomed to most.
Really, what stands out the most with this band is how robust the vocals are, yet they’re concise and don’t fall too deep into the mix at all. Better yet, they vary. “Revenge Of The Tarantulas” (an awesome title for a song) coats on a lot more rasp, and this number, in particular, did a stellar job at simulating the feeling of spiders. The crawling guitars and instrumentation are on point with it. “Concerned The Rabbles” is beefier in the mid-section because its rhythmic patterns oh-so-slightly resemble thrash metal.
But I can’t really say Zarathustrian Impressions is a very riff-dense album, which isn’t too shocking. The aforementioned standout tunes help subside the monotony that can pop up now and again, but such an effort definitely requires the right mood and mind-set. One of the darkest songs is “The Vision And The Riddle” due to the thunderous drum-work, which casts a dark and cloudy shadow over the whole track. And to close this off, we get a hefty resolution with the instrumental “Return To Solitude,” served with a melancholic seasoning.
This is an incredible album that does everything that it has set out to do; it’s just one that may take repeat listens and the right time and place. It’s far more digestible than the typical bands of this nature, but indeed an adventure of its own. And like I said, they have an amazing live presence and cast such a burning feeling, none of which can be tainted even without the studio help.
Zarathustrian Impressions came out on August 30th, 2019 through Folkvangr Records. Listen to it and buy it right here!