Friday 30 September 2022


Desert Psychlist does not need to once again go over the importance of the Polish underground and its impact on the global scene as the seemingly unending number of bands coming out of Poland more or less tells its own story. Today we just want to point you in the direction of one Polish band in particular, a band from Wroclaw going by the name of Noise River, Jacek Węgrzyn (vocals/guitar), Filip Małż (drums), Dominik Nowak (bass) and Łukasz Ostrowski (guitar). Desert Psychlist was steered towards Noise River by Doomed & Stoned/Doom Charts contributor Mel Lie who will often subtitle her recommendations as a "nice thingy", well Mel couldn't have been more on the money in regard to Noise River's debut EP it is one of the nicest thingy's Desert Psychlist has heard in a while.

The blues lies at the root of much of what Noise River bring to the table, but do not go expecting anything remotely traditional or straightforward as what Noise River serve up is a twisted and warped version of the genre spliced with elements of stoner rock, sludge, doom and space that is in turns heavy, trippy and at times quite brutal. The bands blend of lysergic cosmicness and heavy bluesy bluster is no better exemplified than on opening track "Lost In Universe" a mesmerising hotch-potch of hazy psychedelics, thundering percussion and crunching riffage decorated in slightly one-dimensional, but hugely effective and powerful, clean vocals that tell of "an eternal void", "gravity slaves" and the coming of "four horsemen". Next up is "S.O.R." a song that in its initial stages is a pummelling sludge/stoner metal riff-fest over which cool flowing vocal melodies and occasional bluesy guitar colourings hold sway, but is in its second stage a low slung doomic dirge decorated in sampled narration. "Heartless Voices" rears its head above the parapet next, a schizophrenic mix of hazy lysergic laced bluesiness and feral stoner metal that routinely swoops and soars back and forth between these two dynamics before finally signing out with the two-guitarist attempting to outdo each other in a battle of squealing, squawking six-string dissonance. Noise River save their best for last with "Shamanic Rites and Preacher's Lament" an enthralling, mostly instrumental, ten minute opus built around what is essentially a short lyrical prayer to higher forces. It is a song that is in parts ambient, in parts spiritual and in parts heavy and thunderous yet traverses these differing dynamics without feeling disjointed or like it was an amalgamation of song ideas forced together for convenience, a song that flows from one dynamic to another with consummate ease and no lack of musical competency and serves as a fitting finale to what is a highly enjoyable debut.

Desert Psychlist is going to cheat here and close this review out with the short blurb we knocked up for the bands Bandcamp page, not because we are being lazy but because we feel it says not only everything you need to know about Noise River but also everything about the Polish heavy underground a whole,
".Polish bands always seem to do things a little more "IER", their sludge seems sludg"IER", their doom tends to be doom"IER" and when it comes to heavy trippy blues well, they do it heav"IER", trip"IER" and blues"IER" as this excellent release from Poland's Noise River will attest to"
Check 'em out .... 

© 2022 Frazer Jones

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