Monday 31 January 2022

NARBO DACAL ~ NARBO DACAL ....... review

Powerful ,occasionally ethereal, vocal tones twinned with heavy prog(ish) metallic grooves will probably have the prospective listener expecting to hear something sitting in either the occult rock or the symphonic metal genres but what you get instead with Polish trio Narbo Dacal's self titled debut EP (Piranha Records) is a twisting  turning blend of sludge and blackened metal tinted in places with a little witchy folkiness. The band, Eli (vocals/bass); Drut (guitars) and Bartek (drums/backing vocals) hail from Krakow, Poland and are no strangers to the music business, or to each other for that matter, with Drut and Bartak cutting their teeth in a number of bands before teaming up with Eli in Narbo Dacal,( one of which was a raucous outfit going by the name DIZEL who jammed a highly enjoyable AC/DC meets Motorhead flavoured groove). Narbo Dacal are however a whole different animal, the bands sound is one of dankness and darkness juxtaposed with a fey wispiness courtesy of their bass playing vocalist Eli.

"Narbo Dacal" opens its account with "Ice Pick" its chugging, almost staccato, riffs and tribalistic drumming create a feeling of dark foreboding that gradually increases in intensity and depth but then a strange thing happens and instead of an expected explosion of gnarly demonic voiced harshness, which seems to be the norm these days, we are treated to a vocal that although not exactly ethereal is most definitely on that spectrum. Desert Psychlist is reminded a little of MWWB (formally Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard) in the way that Narbo Dacal offset their heavy riffs with vocals of a more fragile nature but where MWWB come more from a doomic place Narbo Dacal's roots are firmly entrenched in sludge and black metal, the grooves the band play behind those wafting vocals having a wholly more raucous and raw demeanour. There is also an undercurrent of metal proggishness to be found on songs like "DCCXXXVII", and "Will-'o-the-Wisp" that puts a whole different spin on things, the band constantly shifting time signatures, tempos and dynamics to add further depth to their compositions and increase their interest and impact, a trick also applied to their vocals which in the space of a song can shift from a husky whisper to an impassioned scream while touching all bases in-between..

Bewitching metal is how Narbo Dacal describe their sound and "bewitching" is exactly what it is, this is an EP that weaves its magic from its opening note to its last, these guys anchoring their grooves to this world with a mixture of complex chord progressions, crunching riffs and thunderous rhythms while also possessing an ability to lift you out of yourself with the sheer beauty of their wafting vocal melodies and undulating dynamics. All in all Narbo Dacal are yet another name to add to that ever growing list of great Polish bands you really need to hear.
Check 'em out ..... 

© 2022 Frazer Jones

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