Hailing from Belarus, Gnieu (which means ‘anger’ in their mother tongue) were formed about a decade ago. Throughout ten years of existence, the project (mainly a duo, consisting of Igar and Vietraslau) recorded two hands full of releases, amongst which some splits (with e.g. the sweeties of Lascowiec or Canadian two-man army Warforest), some EP’s and demos, and three full length albums: Kola Spradviecznaje (2008), U Vihurah Uśviedamleńnja Byćcja (2009) and Dein (2012). That second one, U Vihurah Uśviedamleńnja Byćcja, was initially released on tape via Werewolf Promotion, and in 2015 it got re-released in co-operation with one of the purest Black Metal labels from European soil, Hass Weg Productions. It comes with the original tracks from the 2009-tape, and it includes a bonus track, a hymn which was written around the very same recording period. The jewel-case compact disc comes with an eight-page booklet, and it was released in an edition of 500 copies. U Vihurah Uśviedamleńnja Byćcja means ‘in the vortexes of existence awareness’, and the titles have been translated too. The bonus track included, this recording lasts for forty-three minutes.
I’m always gone, spiritually, when I start listening to this album. The atmosphere for the first (instrumental) song (Spaznannja Vyszejszaga Vir, aka the chasm of supreme cognition) is cold, gloomy, apocalyptic and epic too, accompanying the listener to something like a medieval dimension, a dungeon-world far away from reality. I don’t know how to explain it in another way. Anyway, as from the first riffs for the next track, the first ‘real’ song (Akt I: … U Prastorah Bjazdonnyh… or act I: … in the infinite scopes), it’s like a burzumesque or sargeistian of behemothian (you understand that I am referring to the earliest years, of course?!) beauty going on. I mean: this is that BlazeBirth Hall supremacy, that ominous, arctic, grim majesty, the reason for my adoration for the True Underground. It’s based on highly melodious leads, repetitive rhythm patterns with harshly-hammering drums, and a vitriolic, wretched throat, combining epic structures and melancholic elegance, all in one. That epic element is an important one, going for the basic structures of the tracks at the one hand, yet it goes too for several additional grotesqueries. Example: the introduction for Polymja Daunih Tradycyj (time of ancient traditions), which reminds me a lot of the Baltic or northern East-European scene (rather than the Scandinavian one, though one cannot ignore the inseparable connection in between all those scenes – hail the heathen glory of Old!). The better part is fast, quite fast indeed, but I would rather call it ‘energetic’ or ‘driven’, despite the high-level speed going on, cf. the third act, for instance (with a truly fine acoustic outro). Some parts are remarkably slower too, but these ones are at least as impressive. Take Holadam Kryvi… (by the cold of blood…), for example: minimal and primal, primitive and nihilistic, but what a glorious execution. It makes me somewhat emotional, indeed it does. Or what about the second part of Stupajuczy Pa-Za Miczy Byccja (going beyond the borders of existence): slow but oh so breath-taking and grim…
The previously unreleased bonus track goes on in a comparable vein, full of fierce vigor and a malignant attitude. It’s frenzy, it’s epic, with fast and slow excerpts, and that fine attitude of f*cked up brutality, away from politeness, embracing primal temper.
And yeah, this stuff totally lacks being renewing or original, but then again: who cares about that? If you do, then please stop breathing for half an hour (or longer). It’s the totality that counts, and here’s where Gnieu make the difference with many other ‘major’ bands: they are pure, they are uncompromising, they are a majestic representation of Black Metal!
The production is not excellent. I do not need to hear that fake polished sound at all, but there’s too much noise at the background, and I’m afraid that the mixture did not pay enough attention to rhythm guitars and basses, for example.