MORA PROKAZA is a duo from Minsk, Belarus, whose latest full length, ”By Chance,” released via Season of Mist, clearly proves how wide and unexplored the boundaries of black metal can be.
Compared to the band’s previous releases, which were more conventional on many levels, ”By Chance” shows an experimental approach, where black metal riffing and drumming combine nicely with a singing style that sometimes is reminiscent of the so-called ”mumble rap.” What makes the whole album quite unconventional is the use of various instruments that are not very popular nor commonly used in extreme metal, such as clarinet or saxophone.
The opening track, ”WIMG,” which stands for ”where is my gun,” is heavy and catchy and also sums up the feeling of the entire album: be prepared for something equally appealing and disturbing. The music video gives further proof of how creepy the band’s vision of the world is.
”I’m not Yours,” thanks to a guitar intro and an acid, whispered use of the vocals, is one of the eeriest tunes on the album and is vaguely reminiscent of some Norwegian experimental metal band from early 2000 such as THORNS and SHINING.
The following song, ”Check it,” shows some folkish features but it also reminds me of a few ritualistic singing styles. Its hypnotic rythm drags the listener into a weird nightmare, brilliantly expressed in the song’s music video.
”I’m a Human” has a more conventional black metal vibe and riffing, but the vocals, combined with the colorful use of drums, keep the whole tune quite far from ordinary. The ultimate goal seems to be, again, pushing the boundaries of black metal as far as possible without sacrificing some specific features.
With ”I See it this Way,” the band proves themselves able to experiment on many levels. Grunt-like vocals, hypnotic guitar work, and an at-times chaotic piano sound that prolongs the outro, make the whole song as sinister and creepy as needed.
”Madonna” and ”Be There” are on the verge of a Tibetan mantra and a unique combination of black metal and trap, where the catchy yet disturbing vocals get stuck in the listener’s head. Then, “Sorry Man” is more on the trap side in the beginning, but evolves into mid-tempo metal madness, while the percussion play alongside an unearthly use of the vocals.
The last track, ”Blacker than Black,” reminds me of some of NARGAROTH‘s material, but the song quickly turns into a gangsta rap-like furious and intense vortex of rage and brutality, well-expressed also in the music video, which is reminiscent of some low-budget horror movies, but is by no means less effective in the ultimate goal of representing the morbid side of humankind’s fears and obsessions.
In conclusion, with ”By Chance,” MORA PROKAZA proves themselves a complex and multifaceted creature, able to break the established patterns of both black metal and trap music. They have been able to breed an interesting hybrid between two otherwise often incompatible genres by finding common ground in the obsessive reiteration of some core lyrical concepts, such as hatred towards mankind, violence, and the devil. The four music videos (so far) provide a further visual impact to the whole experience, making the band’s aesthetic slightly easier to grasp and understand.
Written by Licia Mapelli
- I’m not Yours
- Check It
- I’m a Human
- I See it This Way
- Be There
- Sorry Man
- Blacker Than Black
Farmakon – vocals, guitars, bass
Hatestorm – drums
Season of Mist