The Polish underground metal scene, whilst definitely not known globally, showcases some of the most incredible and talented acts in Metal. Even including the bands that have broken out of the underground and hit the mainstream metal scene such as Behemoth, Decapitated and Vader, there are so many unknown acts that truly bring together some of the greatest metal to hit the scene, such as Imperator, Batushka, Frontside and Virgin Snatch. As a fellow Polish citizen and fan, I’ve been following along with the music scene in my home country and developing an idea of the talent that graces the motherland, and with almost every band comes their own sound and distinct voices, and Vane has officially joined the club.
Hailing from Krakow, the band has only been around since 2016, which leaves a preconceived notion that they’re inexperienced, starting out and getting used to the status of the Metal scene. However, founders Mateusz Gajdzik (guitar) and Robert Zemrzycki (guitar) hail from legendary Polish bands Witchking and Acid Drinkers respectively, giving the quintet an upper hand in the industry. Now, with the debut album ‘Black Vengeance’, the band not only push themselves to a high standard in the Polish scene, they’ve raised the bar in terms of quality, accuracy and unforgiving brutality.
The Polish quintet hold nothing back when it comes to the intensity of this record, beginning with the utterly relentless Born Again, vocalist Marcin Parandyk’s vocal performance ranges between harsh singing and screaming, almost resembling vocalist Rafał Piotrowski of Decapitated, which is by no means a bad thing. Following into Edge of the Cutlass, Vane maintain their brutality and heaviness, keeping the flow consistent, yet fruitful, especially with drummer Marcin Zdeb going all out and exhuming his talents, with painfully tight double kick sections and incredible flow.
After allowing themselves to maintain the same route of unforgiving riffage with I Am Your Pain, Vane transfer into the 0:55 track Randy Dandy-O, before smoothly transitioning into their latest single, Death Season. For those unfamiliar, Randy Dandy-O is a Sea Shanty, dating back to the 18th-19th century, a performance which sailors and pirates alike would sing on their trips (think along the lines of A Pirate’s Life For Me in Pirates of the Caribbean). This allows for not only a smooth transition into a fantastic, melodic track, but accentuates the band’s concept, and especially their historical accuracy. The only band (at least that I’m aware of) that have been able to truly grasp onto history to such an extent as Vane is Behemoth, and for those who don’t know, Nergal’s a historian, so one would think he would know what he’s doing.
The one song that truly stood out amongst the plethora of Melo-Death was Davy’s Grip. The clean introduction transitioning into pure fury from bassist Łukasz Łukasik, Zdeb, Gajdzik and Zemrzycki amounts to nothing but absolute power and talent from the Polish quintet. The tempo drop towards the end of the song, mixed with one of the biggest riffs on the album and Parandyk’s brutal vocals truly encapsulates the overall tone, feel and ambience of the record in it’s highest power.
Concept albums can be really, really hard to pull off if not done correctly. I’ve come across some truly lackluster concept albums (not going to name any), and the concept albums I DO love, set themselves as my favourite albums of all time (The Satanist by Behemoth, Endless Forms Most Beautiful and Imaginaerum by Nightwish), and that in itself, in my personal opinion, is a really difficult feat to accomplish, and especially as a debut album, Vane truly pushed themselves to new extents, but succeeded beyond means.
Stunning, beautifully conceptual and relentless, the debut offering ‘Black Vengeance’ by Vane showcases not only the Pirate Metal and Melodic Death Metal genre’s, but the underground Polish scene. ‘Black Vengeance’ is not only a must-have for fans in the Polish music scene, fans of intricate concept albums or Pirate Metal, but for fans of unbelievably brutal, energetic and well-thought-out albums that send shivers down your spine.
Pre-order the album HERE!