It’s never a good thing when looking over a draft for an upcoming review and see that there are no less than four different kinds of intros in various stages of done-ness. Meaning that an album is SO GOOD that we can’t decide how to approach it. Do we wanna be supah serious? Do we want to be all witty and insightful? Do we want to suck up because what’s within is just THAT GOOD? Or do we want to do what we did here and do some sort of combination of it all to stress the fact that what you’re about to read about (And hopefully listen to) is fucking important while still keepin’ it loose.
But I digress.
Easily one of my most favorite records of 2021 without having even been a blip on my incoming music radar, Smyčka’s Fated is a striking breath of fresh air that compiles impeccable musicianship with an exuberant sound to conjure up one helluva debut album. Moscow-based Post-Metal sung entirely in Russian, Fated is a dense affair regardless of the language barrier (I liken it to my listening experiences with Rammstein) that’ll be most enjoyed if one simply unplugs and lets the music wash over them.
The instrumental “Intro” barely scratches the surface of Fated’s heavy atmosphere before the title track steam rolls its’ way in as one of the most majestic album openers ever with wave after wave of rumbling percussion and pointed guitar riffage unfolding led by one of the most dynamic vocalists in Vasily who effortlessly transitions from clean vocals sporting a sort of angelic grace to a downright nasty growl that’s up there with Nergal’s best performances as the rest of the band tonally shift the song shifting into this ethereal glow that’s groove-filled, a little jazzy, and a whole lotta heavy.
“Mut(at)ed” is straight heaviness but no less grand than the standard already set in Fated, starting a little more introspective before the brutality begins while “Wrecked” is an epic behemoth that’s just momentous Metal with a capital “M”. “Betrayed” is glorious and, much like the rest of the tracks on here, is dense yet delicate while also being driven and somewhat diabolical with the way the intricate song structures seemingly flow out with ease.
Ending with the divine “Torn”, Fated lurches to a close with almost eight minutes of steady monolithic intensity that stalks, unfurling slowly with different facets of Smyčka’s Post-Metal maelstrom lurking around every corner before converging into one last bountiful blast.