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Prezir: Depredation

Black metal is probably one of the most divisive subgenres of metal out there, and it's fairly easy to see why. The stereotype of most black metal being a bunch of one man bands doling out the harshness with their fisher-price cassette recorder in the middle of some northern European forest certainly isn't completely without foundation, but it can be a truly rewarding genre to delve into. A band like Prezir makes it even easier to jump into the world of corpse paint, as they are polished. well produced, and bring in plenty of influences from the thrash and death metal realms to widen their net, so to speak.

Prezir is a Serbian word that roughly translates to "contempt". A cursory glance at the lyrics and artwork from the Milwaukee based black metal band's new album Depredation certainly convey that and then some. This is an angry, bleak, and tragic album thematically, with a major focus on the struggles of the oppressed and victims of barbarism at the hands of religion and communism alike. With lyrics and themes that rip and tear with such ferocity, delivering music that befits such a barrage could be a challenge, but the guys in Prezir pass that test with flying colors.

The music on Depredation is incredibly tightly played at warp speeds most of the time, and the precision on display is fantastic. As stated before there are noticeable thrash and death metal influences on display, and some surprising (and impressive) melodic guitar passages that I never would have expected from a band that delves into such dark topics and enshrouds itself in bleak imagery. Opening track "Sacrificed, The Honored Dead" might be the best song on Depredation, and showcases all of the things they do so well here to a tee. Starting off with blast beats and familiar black metal chord voicings, the song then shifts to chunkier thrash/death riffs and then weaves back and forth until we hit the uncharacteristically shreddy guitar solo. What follows is an ass kicking harmonized melodic riff that is only strengthened by vocalist Luka Đor�'ević's snarling vocals and a barrage of warp speed double kickdrums. Very reminiscent of a track that combines the best of Absu and Vital Remains, it's a song I strongly suggest you check out even if black metal isn't normally your bag.

The rest of the album, while maybe not quite as adventurous as the opener melodically, is just as impressive. The brutal and thrashy riffs are held up by a strong black metal core that maintain a grim and oppressive tone while also being full of moments that make you want to headbang and unleash hell in the pit. Another standout track is "Terrors of the Steppe", which brings the same full force assault at the start, but develops a bit of a swaying, almost hypnotic rhythm that just oozes menace and beauty at the same time. And there's plenty more to be excited about as the rest of the album unfolds. The combination of evil aggression, great production, and surprising melodic guitar lines is just a wonderful surprise.

Depredation is a triumph for this US black metal outfit. Prezir have delivered an album that sounds great, is impeccably performed, and most impressively have completely shattered my expectations with this riffy, aggressive album that manages to deliver a melodic weight and listenability that you just don't hear very often in the genre. Any fan of extreme metal would do well to give Depredation a listen.

1. Sacrificed, the Honor Dead
2. Emissary Artifice
3. Deprivation Doctrine
4. Terrors of the Steppe
5. The Falcon and the Lionheart
6. Krvoproliće i Propast
7. Feasting from the Cradle
8. Peasantry Messiah

Added: July 7th 2021
Reviewer: Brandon Miles
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 596
Language: english

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