Furia - W Śnialni review



Reviewer:
3.0

30 users:
5.83
Band: Furia
Album: W Śnialni
Release date: February 2021


01. Wesele W Śnialni
02. Tancowały Chochoły Wyjawienie


If you like Polish black metal, you should know Furia. If you don't, you need to correct that mistake immediately; but avoid W Śnialni at all costs.

With an impressive string of stellar black metal releases that had been turning more and more experimental since 2013, Furia have always been an interesting, inspiring, and admirable band. And a very consistent one as well, in terms of frequency of releasing new music. Up until now that is, since five long years have gone by since Księżyc Milczy Luty. And nowadays they promote themselves as a nekrofolk act (whatever that means) and have just released an album that was recorded in a single day. In 2019. In a painting studio. With guest appearances by actors involved with, among others, the National Old Theatre in Kraków and a miners' orchestra.

The press release reads: "Furia went on a journey, through a labyrinth. She went down near Szczepański Square, wandered along the corridors under the park, under Wawel Castle, and the moon was shining, while the mountain wind was blowing, even though it was underground. She returned to the world under the sky, in the attic, in a painting studio near Spodek in Katowice. They brought some music with them…"

Well, if they brought some music with them, where is it exactly? Was it lost in that labyrinth? Because there are only crumbs of music to be found here. Instead, there are sounds and voices and other effects that give the impression that the whole thing is a musical drama or a radio play and not a music album. And not only that but the best part of this release musically is towards the very end of "Wesele W Śnialni" and it is the exact same riff heard in "Za Ćmą, W Dym" which was the opening track of Furia's magnificent previous album with which they also participated in Wesele (Wedding) in 2017 at Stary Theatre.

I suppose W Śnialni has something to do with that theatrical performance by Furia. I cannot say for sure what the exact connection is though because I don't speak the language. Not that it would make much difference to my (lack of) enjoyment if I did speak Polish. In all fairness, it wouldn't have bothered me so much had this been promoted as an EP or as a video with actors actually performing and with the music taking a background role. Because this is nothing more than a theatrical improvisation / jamming session and not a studio album, with music being just a component and not even the main component. As a record, this has zero replay value. Promoting this as a studio album is pretentious, lazy, and a massive disappointment. If you want to experience theatrical prose in a spectacular black metal record, check out Cultes Des Ghoules' Coven, ironically coming from Poland too.

Apart from the cover art, nothing else is interesting here. The title 'W Śnialni' roughly translates to 'The Dream Room' but this is more like the room of nightmares. Having been silent as far as recording music is concerned for five whole years, Furia somehow thought it'd be a good idea to release this bad dream. Someone please wake me up.


 



Written on 23.02.2021 by Only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud!


Comments

Comments: 27   Visited by: 146 users
23.02.2021 - 09:25
BetulaObscura

Clearly, it was musical EP experiment - not "regular" LP release. It is closer to free jazz approach and improvisations in my opinion. Which is far away from classical metal approach. I can't imagine listen to it as a regular album, that's why I give this "album" only 1 (so far). I will listen it more in the future but I won't be surprised if I will never back to it again!
----
"The streets were dark with something more than night" - Raymond Chandler
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23.02.2021 - 10:32
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Kinda feels bad that this is the first Furia album to get reviewed.
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?


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23.02.2021 - 10:47
nikarg
Mod
Written by BetulaObscura on 23.02.2021 at 09:25

Clearly, it was musical EP experiment - not "regular" LP release.

Yes, hopefully it is nothing more than that. But it is being promoted as LP and it has LP price. And it was recorded two years ago. After Martwa Polska Jesień they had releases every two years, sometimes more often even. There now has been a 5-year break and this is what comes out. I am quite pessimistic as to how inspired they are at the moment and I very much hope they prove me wrong.


Written by RaduP on 23.02.2021 at 10:32

Kinda feels bad that this is the first Furia album to get reviewed.

It does feel bad. They are top-tier black metal and I love all their previous work.
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23.02.2021 - 13:43
Karlabos
Meat and Potatos
Oh boy, when ppl shit on a previous solid band for being experimental it means it's probably good. Gotta check this one out
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Rose is red, violet is blue. Flag is win, Baba is you.
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23.02.2021 - 20:25
DeliciousDishes
always right
I really went into this expecting to kind of hate it, but was pleasantly surprised in the first song. Midway through I even really liked it. But at the end it gets ruined by obnoxious production changes. Also fuck, guys stop arguing in the background of this, I'm getting anxious. There's a really cool jammy drone record in here somewhere. But there's too much stuff that kinda sucks and the sudden changes in production are annoying as hell.
----
You are the hammer, I am the nail
building a house in the fire on the hill
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23.02.2021 - 20:51
BetulaObscura

Written by RaduP on 23.02.2021 at 10:32

Kinda feels bad that this is the first Furia album to get reviewed.


I wrote first Furia review. I did it more than 3 years ago...
----
"The streets were dark with something more than night" - Raymond Chandler
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23.02.2021 - 20:59
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by BetulaObscura on 23.02.2021 at 20:51

I wrote first Furia review. I did it more than 3 years ago...

My bad, was only looking at staff reviews.
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?


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23.02.2021 - 21:00
BetulaObscura

Written by RaduP on 23.02.2021 at 20:59

Written by BetulaObscura on 23.02.2021 at 20:51

I wrote first Furia review. I did it more than 3 years ago...

My bad, was only looking at staff reviews.


No worries!
Cheers!
----
"The streets were dark with something more than night" - Raymond Chandler
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23.02.2021 - 21:44
Andrew_Deer
None,really
Is the rating fair though? I guess it's quite hard to get a full picture when you don't speak the language.

Also, what is the perspective you give the rating from? Like from general black metal music? Shouldn't give the 'experimental' tag give it some sort of leverage? I mean, I actually like it but I am not listening to it as black metal.
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23.02.2021 - 23:04
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Andrew_Deer on 23.02.2021 at 21:44

Is the rating fair though? I guess it's quite hard to get a full picture when you don't speak the language.

Also, what is the perspective you give the rating from? Like from general black metal music? Shouldn't give the 'experimental' tag give it some sort of leverage? I mean, I actually like it but I am not listening to it as black metal.

As someone who agrees with the rating: I came already expecting something really out-there. It isn't a 3/10 because it's not black metal. It's a 3/10 because the experiment really didn't go anywhere. Kinda like Lulu, except Lulu had its moments.
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?


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24.02.2021 - 02:22
nikarg
Mod
Written by Andrew_Deer on 23.02.2021 at 21:44

Is the rating fair though? I guess it's quite hard to get a full picture when you don't speak the language.

Also, what is the perspective you give the rating from? Like from general black metal music? Shouldn't give the 'experimental' tag give it some sort of leverage? I mean, I actually like it but I am not listening to it as black metal.

The rating is fair because this is a very bad release. What the actors say in Polish shouldn't really matter since this is not a visual release but a "music" album. The gist of what they say is in the press release excerpt that I quoted in the review anyway. If the music takes up less than a third of the total runtime and if the best of this music has actually already appeared in a previous album, there is not much to discuss. The perspective of the rating has been explained in detail in the review, I don't want to repeat myself. And no, I am not judging it from a general black metal perspective. Furia have been experimental in the past and being experimental is not a problem at all. But a turd is a turd, labelling it 'experimental' does not make it any less of a turd.

I am pleased you like it though, I really am. But I would also be interested to know how many total plays it will have gotten by you come the end of the year. Because, at the end of the day, the rating should reflect the replay value somehow, shouldn't it?
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24.02.2021 - 03:15
UnknownCheese

I've seen a few people talk about context in regards to the poor reception this is getting. I'm not interested in whether or not I can understand the Polish or not (they're singing total nonsense from what I've seen from Polish forum users), it's just bad music. Nothing about this makes me want to sit through this again.
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24.02.2021 - 08:25
BetulaObscura

Written by UnknownCheese on 24.02.2021 at 03:15

I've seen a few people talk about context in regards to the poor reception this is getting. I'm not interested in whether or not I can understand the Polish or not (they're singing total nonsense from what I've seen from Polish forum users), it's just bad music. Nothing about this makes me want to sit through this again.


Furia doesn't sing "nonsense" on previous albums. This is poetry and it is quite good (to say the least) poetry. Some Polish forum users have problems with basic lectures so i am not surprised they don't get something metaphoric.

Knowing Polish is not necessarily to enjoy Furia music though. Sure, it can elevate whole music experience like every good lyrics does.

Regardless, call that thing an "album" is an abuse. This is just background random sounds... I am very disappointed!
----
"The streets were dark with something more than night" - Raymond Chandler
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24.02.2021 - 13:11
Andrew_Deer
None,really
Written by nikarg on 24.02.2021 at 02:22

The rating is fair because this is a very bad release. What the actors say in Polish shouldn't really matter since this is not a visual release but a "music" album. The gist of what they say is in the press release excerpt that I quoted in the review anyway. If the music takes up less than a third of the total runtime and if the best of this music has actually already appeared in a previous album, there is not much to discuss. The perspective of the rating has been explained in detail in the review, I don't want to repeat myself. And no, I am not judging it from a general black metal perspective. Furia have been experimental in the past and being experimental is not a problem at all. But a turd is a turd, labelling it 'experimental' does not make it any less of a turd.

I am pleased you like it though, I really am. But I would also be interested to know how many total plays it will have gotten by you come the end of the year. Because, at the end of the day, the rating should reflect the replay value somehow, shouldn't it?


Well, spoken word isn't a visual aspect but I guess I understand what you mean. I guess another differnce in the reception might be that I wasn't expecting this album, so talks about "a new album" didn't really get to me, I just saw a new Furia release and thought "what a coincidence" since I started with this whole Polish BM Wave 3 months ago or so...

Sure, it's going to be featured in my general shuffled playlist but I think (compared to most of other music there) it won't be skipped. The replayability argument is fair though, it wasn't really something I considered myself (which I clearly should have), but to me a lot of music has very simillar (dronesque) features but is rated generally better, like Boris or Sunn O))). Also, a lot of it comes down to the quality of production (for me, that is) which Furia certainly has, I therefore understand jumps in production as some sort of artistic expression, otherwise they probably wouldn't be there.

Written by RaduP on 23.02.2021 at 23:04

As someone who agrees with the rating: I came already expecting something really out-there. It isn't a 3/10 because it's not black metal. It's a 3/10 because the experiment really didn't go anywhere. Kinda like Lulu, except Lulu had its moments.


I am sorry to hear that. I like this much more than Metallica with orchestra. But then again, my only favourite album by Metallica is St. Anger, therefore I guess my argument is invalid automatically.

______

I must agree with BetulaObscura there as our native language educations are quite simillar and we are not really getting educated in interpretation of art.
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24.02.2021 - 19:48
Archie 666

I find it funny that in the context of the comments above one of the styles in the description of this album is a 'musical drama'.
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28.02.2021 - 23:09
DeliciousDishes
always right
Written by Andrew_Deer on 23.02.2021 at 21:44

Is the rating fair though? I guess it's quite hard to get a full picture when you don't speak the language.

Also, what is the perspective you give the rating from? Like from general black metal music? Shouldn't give the 'experimental' tag give it some sort of leverage? I mean, I actually like it but I am not listening to it as black metal.

well you now discovered the inherent problem with ratings, they're shorthand but always require a very detailed explanation to be useful.
I don't think many people approach this through a black metal lense (partially cause Furia's brand of black metal wasn't really that traditional anyways). I don't like giving ratings but the explanation makes it fair enough: this tried and utterly failed at being experimental and just kinda seems lazy. Of course knowing the language might elevate it, but even if I did understand this and it was some Faust level poetry going on in it, I doubt I would enjoy it simply due to how it is handled on a technical level.
----
You are the hammer, I am the nail
building a house in the fire on the hill
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20.03.2021 - 20:16
tsd

Written by nikarg on 24.02.2021 at 02:22

The rating is fair because this is a very bad release. What the actors say in Polish shouldn't really matter since this is not a visual release but a "music" album.


These statements are downplaying the creator's intent. Whether it's a guest, actor, the barking of a dog, a cowbell or even farts as far as I'm concerned, they do matter. The actor's voices were intentionally put there and the fact that you may not understand them should have no bearing on a fair evalution (making such statements indicates yours wasn't). You're quite welcome not to like the album but please spare the tirade what should matter or not on an album. It's part of a concept, I realise the originality may be going against the grain of popular expectations. It's likely an ephemeral record. Artists that do not try to be copycats in terms of their output should be held in high regard for at least not being cliche with their release. Furia is quite entitled to include actors and theatrical elements in their records, given their collaboration in actual stage performances. I haven't been lucky to see the result of those but this record allows me to get a glimpse what it could have been like.

If you go around cherry picking what's suitable from your perspective, then please don't go around claiming it's a downright bad release on the grounds that you don't understand the lyrics of the performance and they do not belong there.

Daring to experiment is a virtue, especially in a stale genre that metal has become over the years. I'd be happier if this were their final release than if they were to release another album that copies a successful concept from the glorious past. Artistic integrity is very much kept on this record, so it can't be that bad. The worst an artist can do is release another average record, this one is divisive, controversial, which proves it's not a bad release.
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20.03.2021 - 23:54
nikarg
Mod
^ If you are replying to the two sentences you quoted, then you are jumping to too many conclusions. If you are replying to my comment that these two sentences belong to, then you probably didn't read it carefully. If you are replying to the entire review, then you definitely didn't read it carefully, if at all. I am explaining in detail why I think this release is bad, but you are the one cherry picking and commenting on what you have cherry picked.

I respect your opinion but please don't tell me what to do or not do. To me, this album is unlistenable and this review is about why I consider it to be so. You are very welcome to write your own review and explain how it appeals to you.
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22.03.2021 - 14:35
tsd

I have read your review several times, including the comments. Now, what I disagree with is superficial treatment given to a record that needs a different approach than what you may have been used to. Some statements of yours I'm a bit surprised with, coming from an experienced reviewer and listener, and I put those down to a premature review.

The fact you chose to call it a turd (albeit in the comments) is my starting point.

Dismissing what is key on the record will lead you nowhere. Agreed the music on this one is arranged in a special way but there are very good reasons for this. This record is metaphorical in many ways (like modern theatre is, think theatrum mundi) and the style on the record makes it truly unique.

Demanding visuals be provided to accompany the actors voices shows lack of imagination or an attempt to interpret it. I realise that today's listeners of metal may be lazy, given the viral spread of lyric videos to give them food for thought, however I find this odd coming from an experienced reviewer. I do like your review where you indicate the stuff Furia have done for the theatre. However it's not as flawed a record as you'd have it. And I'll explain:

This is a post-modern record and one that pays homage to the theatre and its means of expression.
See what you may miss dropping the seemingly unnecessary voices of the theatre in what has been called a turd:
The persona you're experiencing the theatre as is an actor that is late to a theatre play. He's reprimanded by a stage manager/directory/fellow actor that the play is in progress. The theatre play is called Apocalypse (which you may have got). The very name will be some sort of a metaphor, what of, I leave the question open. The similarities with the riffs from Furia's past records are non-trivial self-quotes that will have some meaning to them. I doubt Nihil with his tremendous output would stoop to copying his own stuff for no good reason.

The actors voices backstage could be interpreted as seeking direction. That alone is one big metaphor, likely to Furia's approach to music. Similarly, the channel changes could be intended means of implying movement of the actor through a stage performance and going to the backstage, in line with the aural experiences of a participant of a play. There is just too much going on on here to simply call this record a turd. It just doesn't do this particular record any justice to call it that.

One problem with post-modernity is artists (not necessarily musicians, movie makers, writers etc.) releasing a hodgepodge of ideas only to find their fans discover some meaning to them, one that was never intended in the first place. How this album maintains continuity with the rest of their discography remains another question. Doing an one-off joke somehow doesn't fit the style adopted by Furia. Furia isn't Gruzja, who appear a joke but maintain a constant post-modern flow of quotes from Maanam, though indeed Artur Ruminski is a band member of both as the common denominator.

Upon encountering a record I can't make sense of, I normally leave it for a while to sink in. Sometimes for months or years. That is a process, some records never do, which is fine. To some records I've returned after a decade to enjoy. But at least it would be a good idea to give such a record some time before making very strong statements about its face value. Not asking those be recanted, but mind it leaves a bad impression. The sense of honesty surrounding this piece (why does a renowned band release a 29 minute full length for instance?) should lend it some redeeming value.

I'm pretty sure though such voices were expected by Furia though. There is some irony in this record being released during a time when most theatres remain shut (in Poland at least). Who knows, maybe that's what prompted its release?

Personally, the challenge with making sense of this record is titillating. Granted, not all people may be up for challenges in music. In some ways W śnialni is a metal equivalent of John Cage's 4:43, which I doubt is often played other than for kicks, missing the intent completely.

And lastly, only once you get the physical jewel case, do you get to understand what this record may be about. That I leave to the pleasure of more patient listeners to discover for themselves. Theatrical references abound, though again those may become lost in translation.

Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with Furia, Nihil nor the label in any way. No great fan of Furia, knew their albums a bit, but not enough to be raving about this record for the sake of it.
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22.03.2021 - 14:54
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
It's great that there's some concept behind it, but the end result is still awful.
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?


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22.03.2021 - 16:47
nikarg
Mod
Written by tsd on 22.03.2021 at 14:35

I have read your review several times, including the comments.

Thanks for your elaborate reply. I need to clarify that use of the word "turd" was an exaggeration and a general remark that was not necessarily addressed to this particular album (I never called it a turd and I was making a point of how "experimental" does not automatically mean "good") and was not -of course- used in the review. What was actually said in the review and the main (but not the only) reason why I gave it such a low rating was summed up in the following two sentences:

"As a record, this has zero replay value. Promoting this as a studio album is pretentious, lazy, and a massive disappointment."

"Pretentious" as opposed to "post-modern", which is what you prefer to call it. "Lazy" as opposed to "honest" because this was recorded two years ago in a single take so it makes no sense to me that it is being released today, five years since the last album. And a "massive disappointment" because this is what it is to me.

I can find positive things to say and uncover hidden meanings, if I want to, for every album/band under the sun. And I am the last person to say anything about other people's tastes since Strange And Beautiful is my favourite Crimson Glory album. I read your comment very carefully and I won't deny that you have valid points but I cannot help but feel that you may be trying a little too hard to defend this release, even by "discovering" things that are just not there. Not because you are a friend of Nihil or a Furia fanboy but because you actually believe that this is more than what it looks like. I am pleased you can appreciate and enjoy it even though I can't. Thanks for explaining the concept but it still doesn't do anything for me since I am used to watch theatrical plays, not listen to them. I have reviewed this album as a music record because this is what it is supposed to be and what it has been promoted as. And the review was not premature, we get promos of albums long before their official release date. If this album was meant to be something other than an album, it is not my fault; the band and the label should have been more careful with how they promote it. The creator has every right to create anything they want, just like every listener has the right to have an opinion on it.
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22.03.2021 - 20:21
tsd

I simply recognise more traits that make this album unique than you gave it credit for. It's not my intention to convince you but merely to highlight what I thought you had missed in the review were the lyrics a bit more understandable to you. For that reason, I probably would pass on assessing an experimental album that I don't necessarily like and which features lyrics like those (you don't get this type of a performance on a typical album) that I don't have subtitles for. Add the fact that foreign language albums tend to receive lower scores than their English equivalents.

The promo you quoted is a bit vague in what to expect. I rarely read them as they may not necessarily reflect what the band has to say but how the label chose to promote it. I would take it with a pinch of salt how they promo the stuff they release, the band may not have full control over it. Recording during one day doesn't mean the creative process was done hastily. How long it took to record isn't any statement on quality. Live performances are captured in a matter of hours and some of them can be stellar.

Labels make sure their releases cause controversy for that helps to bring attention/sell (depending how you look at it) and it surely worked (at least gain attention). In a tepid flow of releases, this one stands out in many ways and that I recognise.

Despite all its faults, I have a hunch in time this record will make more sense, replay value or not.

It would be a great feature here to see how an album's score changes over time. I've no doubt at release time there are plenty of outliers (thinking 10 or 1) which then gradually drop as audiences cool off. Many fans will succumb to the first listen effect that will have them give an album a score based on a first impression. Personally, I'd value a score of a person who's had more spins of it higher than someone who's either hating or raving about it after a 1st listen. The rating system doesn't include that, understandably. This one appears to be a love or hate album, I don't expect too many average ratings initially for it but a lot of outliers (as compared to non-experimental releases).
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23.03.2021 - 03:09
nikarg
Mod
In danger of boring our readers to death with this discussion, I still feel obliged to reply.

I do not pass on assessing albums simply for being either experimental or because I don't like them. I mostly review albums I enjoy (I am not a masochist) but that is not always the case. I also review experimental albums like the latest Mora Prokaza even though this happens less often, but I very often review albums of bands I know a lot about and I am a fan of even when these albums are not that great, like the latest releases from Heathen, Sodom, Rotting Christ, Testament, Behemoth, and many more.

I do my research on albums before I review them, checking out band interviews or reading reviews of people I have found their assessments to be worthy of reading (not many of those out there unfortunately, and most of them are here on MS). I read the promos because they are sent to me for a reason even though I also take them with a pinch of salt (this particular promo said a lot more than the part I quoted). However, if the label doesn't pay much attention to the promo and if the band isn't involved in it despite trusting their art in the hands of a label, it is their problem. We live in a world where you can self-release anything, why give it to a label if you have no control over how it is being promoted? We are not talking about Helloween and Nuclear Blast here.

If subtitles were needed, Furia should have included them, unless they are aiming only at the Polish-speaking crowd in which case my criticism is still relevant for the vast majority of the Earth's population that doesn't speak Polish. But really, I am not at all convinced that the language and the lyrics make that much difference as to how this should be perceived. You say that foreign language albums tend to receive lower scores but bands like Moonsorrow, Burzum, Oranssi Pazuzu, Rammstein, and even Furia -whose previous albums are highly rated- beg to differ. The list of non-English language bands that are highly scored is long, but most people don't pay that much attention to the lyrics anyway; if they did, Judas Priest would be a lot less popular than The Lord Weird Slough Feg.

For what it's worth, I am not trying to convince you or change your opinion either. I have no problem with being wrong or you saying that I am wrong but I do not accept that I am unfair. I don't claim to be an expert (whatever that may entail), but I do love music and have been listening to a lot of it for a very long time. I would never criticize an album without being totally confident of what I am writing. I have immense respect for the work of musicians simply because their art makes my life so much better. For me, the experiment was unsuccessful and I did not have any reason or desire to sugarcoat my opinion of it. We are (still) having this discussion (on my part) only to make clear that this was not a "first impression review" or one that was written without giving it much thought.
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30.03.2021 - 23:34
kumar0raja

What is the perspective you give the rating from? Like from general black metal music? Shouldn't give the 'experimental' tag give it some sort of leverage? I mean, I actually like it but I am not listening to it as black metal.
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30.03.2021 - 23:59
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by kumar0raja on 30.03.2021 at 23:34

What is the perspective you give the rating from? Like from general black metal music? Shouldn't give the 'experimental' tag give it some sort of leverage? I mean, I actually like it but I am not listening to it as black metal.

Read the review and you might find the answer.
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?


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31.03.2021 - 02:08
nikarg
Mod
Written by RaduP on 30.03.2021 at 23:59

Read the review and you might find the answer.

You just replied to a bot
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31.03.2021 - 08:06
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by nikarg on 31.03.2021 at 02:08

You just replied to a bot

So did you
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Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?


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