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Johan Wolfgang Pozoj: The Birth of Pozoj

The Birth of Pozojwas Johan Wolfgang Pozoj's first album that the band released in 2007. The most recently they released another album titled the same way and featuring two songs from the earlier album: "Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes" and "Queen Emeraldas". The only difference is that is was totally re-worked and re-recorded, so it was basically a completely different album.

Since this album only has two songs many people would believe that it would be relatively short. If I were to tell them it's longer than a 10 track album they would think me insane, right? Well it is. Featuring a 20 minute song and a 30 some minute song, this album is almost an hour long! Originally the band had 5 songs on the first release but cut it down to two, and I quite like that since I don't know if I want to sit through almost two hours of atmospheric black metal. Now onto what people actually want to know about, the music.

The Birth of Pozojis a completely atmospheric black metal album which features great playing and wonderful dark passages. "Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes" is a great song, and has very good flow to it. Starting off slow and deep it eventually builds and builds to a monster of a song. You can really tell the almost avant-garde approach to this album in this song especially, and sometimes the conflicting time signatures are really cool. When the growls come in there is a nice change in the music and the guitar riffs become shorter and more prevalent. The growls are exceptional, especially mixed with Marko Balaban and Filip Fabek's guitar playing. The end of "Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes" is probably my favorite part of the album because of its dark and rich guitar riffs.

The last song, "Queen Emeraldas" starts off much more upbeat but soon transfers back into the dark tones that ended the first song. The growls on this song are also very well preformed by Ivan Borcic. The production of this album isn't really polished, but at the same time it isn't that raw style that some may expect from black metal.

The Birth of Pozoj is a wonderful album that any fan of Burzum, or older black metal will enjoy thoroughly. Featuring great guitar playing, and very good growls Johan Wolfgang Pozoj have definitely found their way to the top of black metal with this release which gets 3.5 stars from me.

Track Listing
1. Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes (33:51)
2. Queen Emeraldas (20:45)

Added: August 23rd 2011
Reviewer: Brian Block
Related Link: Band Myspace Page
Hits: 1767
Language: english

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Johan Wolfgang Pozoj: The Birth of Pozoj
Posted by Jeff B, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-08-23 20:55:33
My Score:

In light of their recent signing with prestigious metal label code666, Croatian avant-garde black metal act Johann Wolfgang Pozoj has decided to re-record their debut full-length album, Birth of Pozoj. Rather than simply remastering the album for the release, the band has "re-arranged, re-thinked, and re-recorded" Birth of Pozoj, as they intend on soon doing for the rest of the "Pozoj trilogy". Although I am currently unacquainted with the rest of the band's material - including the original version of Birth of Pozoj - I do know that this is one damn good album, and surely among one of the more impressive avant-garde black metal releases I've heard recently. This album consists of two exceptionally long songs, one exceeding the 33-minute mark, yet it remains interesting the entire time through. Birth of Pozoj is one of the most unique black metal albums I've heard in a long time, and people who enjoy black metal on the more progressive and experimental side should find plenty to love here.

Johann Wolfgang Pozoj really defies characterization on this record. Although you could say it's rooted in black metal, the clean vocal sections, progressive song structures, varied instrumentation, and ambient portions really make this a tough one to pin down. I'll stick with a loose "experimental black metal" tag, but even that isn't doing them much justice. Birth of Pozoj is a truly unique album, and the fact that it also manages to amaze with its tremendous compositions as well is admirable. Although I'd say the near-34 minute "Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes" is slightly more interesting than the near-21 minute "Queen Emeraldas", both are beautiful songs that serve as stunning rides through the darkest depths of human emotion - and there are plenty of awesome riffs here too, by the way. Birth of Pozoj will take quite a few listens to "sink in", but it's a really remarkable observation once you give it the attention it deserves. I wouldn't let the long compositions and weird, dissonant riffs scare you away after first listen.

One small complaint of mine about Birth of Pozoj is related to the production. Although not detrimental, it sounds a bit thin to these ears, and the occasional technical "hiccup" - most likely related to the quality of my promo copy - doesn't help either. The retail version may sound higher quality than the version I'm listening to, but there's no way for me to judge that right now.

All in all, Johann Wolfgang Pozoj really ended up exceeding my expectations with Birth of Pozoj. The band's unique take on avant-garde black metal is remarkable, and the way they manage to portray this through beautiful songwriting and varied instrumentation makes this one a winner on nearly every front. If you have eclectic tastes when it comes to black metal, I'd say this is a highly-recommendable purchase. 3.5 - 4 stars are very well deserved, and I'll be extremely curious to hear where Johann Wolfgang Pozoj takes this intriguing trilogy in the future.

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