Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Godz ov War Productions, 2019)

Karakter: 5/6

Tankograd album cover.jpg“Totalitarian” by the Polish doom metal horde Tankograd is a truly oppressive affair that is as emotionally charged as it is intense. Imagine a cross between Centurions Ghost, Jex Thoth, Sabbath Assembly, and Eyehategod - that particular intersection is where you will stumble on the ugly fuckers that constitute Tankograd. Also, if you are on the lookout for a soundtrack to your history books on WWII or simply something that encapsulates the aforementioned earth-shattering event in a sharp and heartfelt manner, you can relax as “Totalitarian” thematizes various aspects of those dark years in a captivating way.

Dissonant riffs that sound monstrously huge and crushing coupled with introspective vocals and forlorn melodies that reek of pessimism and despair constantly push the music forward and simultaneously create a sphere of sound that is overwhelmingly bleak and yet so goddamn touching that it hurts. There is an understated drive and a strange sense of urgency to compositions such as “Lot Do Kraju” and the climactic “Mir”, almost as if these guys are trying to tell you something really important about the state of the world as it was and the feeble fart that is humanity before it is too late. The songs are also allowed time and space to evolve and unfold in an organic way, and the raw and rumbling production totally works in its favor. The unpolished nature of the record adds a sense of soul and deep-seated disgust to the proceedings, and the only real flaw that I can pinpoint is that a number of parts here and there are a tad too monotonous and plod along without adding a whole lot of depth to things, which is best illustrated by “Zelazne Trumny”, but you can count those particular sections on one or two hands, so it is no biggie as such.

“Totalitarian” is a deeply unsettling and thought-provoking piece of work that is as impressive as it is expertly crafted. This is one of those discs that I hope all you cynical bastards will pick up on and devote some serious time to as it most certainly deserves a wider audience out there. I am utterly impressed and it just keeps getting better and more magnificent the more I listen to it. I am forever grateful to Godz ov War Productions for unearthing the album and making sure it courses through the metal netherworld as I am writing this. Devastation and lack of hope have rarely sounded better or more appealing than they do here. If you consider yourself a moody sucker, you need this one.


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