All My Sins - Pra Sila - Vukov Totem
(Saturnal Records, 2018)
#FOR FANS OF: Atmospheric Black Metal/Pagan
All My Sins, a project who comes from Serbia, is another fine example of the aforementioned blend of influences. The band was founded in 2000 by Vladimir Uzelac, who has taken part in several other projects, and by Vladimir Morar. It hasn´t been a very active project if you take into account that they have released two demos and one EP only in almost 18 years. Fortunately, the wait is over and finally the band has managed to release their full album entitled 'Pra Sila - Vukov Totem'. I invite you to take a look to their amazing promo picks and you will realize how important is for them to portray their view of the Slavic culture and mysticism. Even though the imaginary is important for these guys, the music is always the main thing. 'Pra Sila - Vukov Totem' is a debut, where the mixture of powerful riffs, shrieks and Serbian mysticism, works perfectly well.
Just to be clear, this is not a folk metal album but a quite guitar driven black metal work, with some tweaks and arrangements which give to the work a mystic and epic touch. The album begins with a quite straightforward track entitled “Vukov Totem”, having some excellent riffs and a great level of aggression. Excellently executed shrieks, powerful riffs and speedy drums are a constant in 'Pra Sila - Vukov Totem', but as the album progresses the songs include more arrangements, like in the second song “Zov iz Magle”, where we can listen to some choirs in the background with a distinctive Slavic touch. They give an undoubtedly epic touch to the composition and they appear more times through the album, usually mixing those vocals with the keys, creating an ethereal atmosphere, like it happens in “Vetrovo Kolo”. The mixture between fast and aggressive sections with those arrangements is very well done and nothing sounds out of place. The album has an impressive ending with a long track entitled “Konačna Ravnodnevica” which seems to be divided in two parts. The first half is a long song, one of the heaviest with a hammering pace from the beginning to the end, while the second half is a calmer track with a more atmospheric approach. This is probably my favourite track because even being calmer, it is a very intense composition, with very emotional and touching melodies which stick to your head. Undoubtedly, a truly remarkable end to the album.
In conclusion, 'Pra Sila - Vukov Totem' is an excellent debut by All My Sins. They have created a very solid work of black metal, plenty of aggression, but with some arrangements here and there, which enrich the album. The closing track shows how good this band can be when they slow done a little bit creating songs with a stronger atmospheric touch. Personally, I would be more than happy if they explore this formula a little bit more in a near future.