Michał “U” Dziedzic – Vocals & Guitars,
Patryk “L” Budzowski – Drums,
Marek “T” Ceńkar – Bass & Vocals,
Damian “R” Dudek – Synths & Keyboards,
Kuba “A” Cołta – Guitars.
Whereas more and more modern metal bands take the technical approach to songcraft, it’s almost a little jarring to come across something slightly simpler that is less about showing off and more about the song. Poland’s ENTROPIA take this latter approach, with their black metal-meets-shoegaze style taking the fundamental aesthetic of black metal (atmosphere) and championing it to the skies.
“Ufonaut” has all the usual hallmarks of black metal: blast beats, tremolo guitars, rasping vocals and a general bleak outlook, whilst the shoegaze trope takes form in the cold atmosphere and underlying melodicism. “Ufonaut”, the title track, opens in frenetic fashion but weaves a despairing melodicism into its folds – bleak and even a little haunting. It’s not all blasting, though: the final throes of “Mandala” carry an apocalyptic-quality, whilst finale “Veritas” carries the flame for the tumultuous, resplendent closer.
The production quality is delightful and clear, yet packs a beefy low-end – not a common occurrence in many black-gaze albums. This allows the band to showcase their talents but while all are exceptionally capable musicians, drummer Patryk “L” Budzowski steals the show with an especially impeccable performance – blasting, grooving and showcasing a musicality in cymbal-work rarely seen in the genre. It adds extra colour to the an already exciting palette.
ENTROPIA’s name may be relatively new to some in their search for black-gaze, but they should remain firmly at the fore of one’s mind hereafter. “Ufonaut” is a haunting, tumultuous howl into the night atop a mountainous peak which is both heavy and dripping with melody. Where shoegaze elements that creep into black metal acts often lighten proceedings, ENTROPIA have gone the opposite direction and used it to create something memorable.