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'On the Edge of the Abyss/Live on the Edge of the Abyss'

(Moon recs - 2018)

MARK: 79/100

  Digipack re-issue after half a year of an EP originally released in 2017 coming after a 6-year-hiatus, this time also featuring a second CD with 8 live songs from Polynove Pole, a five-piece hailing from the Ukraine. It plays melodic Death Progressive Doom Metal with a few Gothic shades and deals with the following subjects in the five songs of the EP: a grey angel, Cain's children, lights in the fog, nightbirds and being on the brink of a chasm. The last is the only track in English, while the others (except the instrumental one of course) are in Ukrainian; the fourth is a remake.

Opener "Сивий ангел (Grey Angel) " begins growing gradually with an arpeggio and martial snare beats, being a mid-tempo anticipated by a sad guitar. The production is not too fat on the low-end and the two layers of angelic and operistic soprano female vocals are mixed a tad too low here when there's a contrast with the male growls. There's a brief axe solo with the crushing lead guitar tuned the way the old Swedish Death Metal school required, and afterwards there's also a marvellous keyboards solo followed by male whispers and delicate guitar licks, then all the instruments and voices assault in unison, while the close is rendered by a common stop at the same time.
Piano lines start "Каїнові діти (Cain's Children) ", then My Dying Bridesque guitar lines together with clean male vocal declamations appear. The woman's vocals in this composition are less acute and tight than earlier but more passionate, whereas the subsequent tomb male vocals are so guttural to remind me of Mortician's! The difference enhances itself when the distant backing female vocals enter on stage, reaching an altissimo register again. The song also contains a guitar solo, which is decidedly not the best of the album; it's actually a long one and in the vein of Tantal in the first part; its second portion connects with the melancholic sliver repeated before the first strophe leads to the conclusion.
"Вогні в тумані (Lights in the Fog)" is a melodic intermezzo played with a lonely piano recalling autumn's taste in every aspect, while "Нічні птахи (The Nightbirds)" kicks off with an interlacing of bass and a semi-distorted guitar, and soon later keys and tribal drums are respectively added preparing for the double vocal attack where the female vocals are mixed higher on this occasion. The female singer goes solo together with lively keys touches until the rest of the band arrives. When the male growls appear alone the song seems static, but when the female trilling is added, the magic is back. Marianna,who also performs as soloist with Lviv's Philarmonic Orchestra, and the keys achieve the zenith of the composition, and the superb final arpeggio leads to the end of the track (and life metaphorically).
A dismal beginning characterizes "On the Edge of the Abyss" , seeing a later entry of the keyboardist and then of the other musicians. A melodic break with a semi-distorted guitar and the typical vocal duels are present with the exception of a long instrumental fragment in which the trilling guitar and the pulsating bass give their utmost. The usual storm of unintelligible male growling follows and the female vocals keep on balancing the structure through the whole song.



The live CD lasts almost 50 minutes and out of the 8 tracks four are absent in the studio EP. The sound engineer is slightly privileging drums, keys and guitars in the first track, whereas the sounds are more homogeneous in the remaining 7. One more aspect to be noticed lies on the fact that the songs are faithful to the studio versions, devoid of introductions or additional inner parts.
All in all it sounds like an honest depiction of a club live performance, as all the imperfections in the execution, sounds or entrance delays have not been deleted, neither corrected nor hidden.

On one hand Polynove Pole's music isn't original, on the other hand it is written and performed so well most of the time that the lack of unexpected elements in this genre doesn't bother, nor bore whatever. These guys know what they are playing and they deliver it even better thanks to Marianna Laba's hypnotic voice. Final verdict? Get it!


  MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 10 February, 2019

Tracklist: Сивий ангел (Grey Angel), Каїнові діти (Cain's Children), Вогні в тумані (Lights in the Fog), Нічні птахи (The Nightbirds), On the Edge of the Abyss

Demo 2005 (demo 2005)
Чисті душі (EP 2008)
На семи вітрах (CD 2009)
Під холодним каменем (EP 2009)
On the Edge of the Abyss (EP 2017 reprinted with bonus live CD in 2018)

Line-up on this record:
Andriy Kindratovich - bass, vocals (ex-ForceOut (live), ex-Ірій)
Yurii Krupiak- guitars (ex-Інкрустатор, ex-Ambivalence, ex-Lamia Culta, ex-Paganland, ex-Kroda (live), ex-Гра в Бісер)
Marianna Laba - v. (ex-Capitollium)
Dyvozor - k. (also in Escapism, ForceOut, Stryvigor, Colotyphus (live), Рай із Твоїх Снів (live)
Lycane - d. (also in Atra Mors, Colotyphus, Paganland, ex-Aryadeva, ex-Nahemoth, ex-Nocturnal Amentia (live), ex-Neksus, ex-Torrence Conscientium (live))

Lviv - Ukraine

Official sites: