Delivered by the always awesome Moonlee Records is Praznina, the sophomore outing from Iamdisease. This Slovenian act features members of two bands that I've written about in the past—Low Punch and Elodea—as well as several groups that I've never heard before (Man in the Shadow, The Hoax Program, Kennyball Smith, and A Murder Theory), and herein unloads seven absolutely ferocious tracks in less than 24 minutes. Noticeably heavier and tighter than their debut, imagine the burly, charging density of His Hero is Gone-esque hardcore/punk spattered with some frantic Japanese energy and the occasional '90s European metalcore-styled Slayer riff. It's completely relentless and in your face, and its explosive power kicks some serious ass.
After about 30 seconds of light feedback and ambient noise, the title track sets the tone with a relatively straightforward blast of chunky power chords, dissonant riffing, and insanely harsh, gruff vocals—an approach that carries over into the similarly fierce "Žival, Ne Človek." "Večno Vračanje Istega" even hits on a Ringworm level of scathing intensity (as does short but sweet rager "Kako bi Bilo, če bi Slovenija Imela Kolonije"); whereas "Skupaj" eases up on the tempo a bit and opens with a thick, dirty bassline before plunging into a mass of chugging midpaced rhythms accented by dashes of discordant texture. "Prag Tolerance" then delves into some unexpectedly catchy flourishes of melody; and six-minute closer "Druga Narava"—doubly as long as most of the other tracks—again slows down to more of a pounding crawl, and experiments with darker tinges of forceful melody and not-quite-clean guitar runs. Easily the most diverse composition herein.
Excellent production, too: everything is heavy as fuck with just the right amount of rugged grit. Hard-hitting percussion, the bass doesn't get lost in the mix, the vocals are incredibly powerful, etc.
I've not seen the physical release, but the abstract illustration on the cover is cool; and while all of the lyrics are in Slovenian, loose translations via Google communicate the general tone as what appears to be a fluid blend of the personal and the political. Track titles approximate to "Emptiness," "The Threshold of Tolerance," etc. Words like "nothingness," oppression," "slaves"... phrases such as "you chose freedom that only narrows" or "although the death took my breath away, the feeling of happiness remains the same." So, not exclusively dark, per se, but... appropriately gloomy based on the musical landscape.
I haven't gotten particularly excited about a release of this nature in a while now, but Praznina really hit me hard right out of the gate. Very impressive, and certainly worth a listen—especially considering the fact that it's available as a name your price download on Bandcamp, so... no excuses!