Review: Prygla – Prygla (Cryptorium, Aug 1)

In a year without an overwhelming quantity of standout metal releases, it’s nice to be won over immediately for once—and I’m confident Prygla’s eponymous debut will have a similar effect on most readers. The short “Praefica” introduction is humble but also dense and full of portent, in retrospect foreshadowing many of the distinctive idiosyncrasies that make the rest of the tracks so great. There isn’t much in the way of information about the project itself, so for all we know Prygla could either be a quar/quintet or a solo project; at first, I deemed the latter more likely, since the opening moments of “Serafernas Song” feature some blurred hi-hat blasts that sound quite programmed at first, but then the drums start hitting a lot harder with hard-grooving halftime breaks and propulsive gallops heavy on the ride bell, and at that point it starts to not really matter what exactly is making the sounds. The vocals are at their best when they’re higher-pitched and shriek-y, but the guttural growls work well too, especially when the riffs get extra thrashy and chromatic on “Rit” and “Vider,” or when the pace picks up into energetic melodicism for the tentatively hopeful “Ögat.” I found Prygla via the “raw black metal” tag, but the guitars are surprisingly clear and clean-cut; perhaps the rawness comes from somewhere deeper than the surface of the music itself.

Pick up CD copies via Cryptorium’s Discogs page.