Band – Prognan
Album – Naši životi više ne postoje
Country of Origin – Croatia
Genre – Black Metal
Release Date – January 9th, 2023
Label – Self Released
Author – Rz
What a banger way to start off the year! Prognan’s “Naši životi više ne postoje” delivers a fantastic mixture of harrowing wartorn black metal with cinematic folky grandeur. I was originally drawn in by the album cover, a soldier facing a smoldering and ominous stone cross in the fields of no man’s land. The album initially gave me Kanonenfieber vibes, but after a few listens I found it to be far more menacing and encompassing. So, without further adieu, let’s dive in!
First I would like to point out something about the man behind this album. Kob, better known as Goran Dragas, a Croatian composer who’s scores have been used in many Hollywood trailers, so that should give you a rough idea of what you’re getting yourself into. The album’s opener spares no one, jumping right into a ferocious death drive before a Balkanesque melody enters the track, transporting the listener from the horrors of war to a more forlorn front. This formula of mixing traditional folk melodies with often brutal black metal is really what makes this album shine for me.
Tracks like “Naši životi više ne postoje” and “Po ovoj zimi nalazimo smrt” use this technique as a way to build tension while giving the listener a break between blasting and blaring segments. The track “Golgota” is almost split in two, with the intro and outro following a very brutal yet melodic template with a super catchy middle section full of orchestrations and choral vocals. “Po ovoj zimi nalazimo smrt” is also the album’s star! The track is very dynamic and has great pacing and melodies. The main riff feels like it was ripped from an old Judas Priest track just played slower. Very sick. Pair that with the organs in the intro and ultra super duper catchy mid section and you have a monster track.
Now for every music elitists favorite part and every normal listener’s least, the PRODUCTION! The production on this album is fucking great. It’s well produced without sounding like a Behemoth album. Everything sits exactly where it should, nothing is too loud or too quiet. The vocal production is top notch, especially layering harmonies on harmonies. The drums are really dry and punchy which is a nice change of pace for me after listening to nothing but reverb soaked atmospheric black metal. The guitar tone is pretty standard but that’s okay by me. The bass is audible and the orchestrations are perfectly layered in where they aren’t too overbearing but aren’t lost in the mix.
Final takeaway: This album is a banger. It’s dynamic and keeps my interest it’s entire hour plus runtime. The riffs are catchy and variations of orchestration keep everything fresh. Also, as not previously mentioned, the album is a concept album about World War One, so, in my opinion, it works really well in conjunction with Kanonenfieber’s “Menschenmuhle”. The album ends with a very cinematic acoustic track that uses motifs from earlier in the album to tie it all together. Excellent release, couldn’t be happier with it.
Biography: Rz is the main musician behind atmospheric black/death band Varanak. Aside from writing music and reviews, Rz enjoys finding new music across all genres, working out, exploring the culinary world.