Album Review – +MROME+ / Barbaric Values (2022)

This unrelenting Polish group returns with a new concept album based upon the moral and ethical conflict between socially imposed conditions and primordial nature of man.

Born in 1995, dead in 2002 and evoked in 2009, always focusing on the creative process and concepts behind the music, lyrics and graphics, Andrychów, Poland-based Black/Death Metal studio project +MROME+ is back into the battlefield with a new concept album, entitled Barbaric Values, following up on their 2016 album Noetic Collision on the Roof of Hell and on their 2019 album Leech Ghetto. Displaying a sick artwork by Ataman Tolovy (featuring a trashart sculpture by Krzysztof Kadłubowski), Barbaric Values is based upon the moral and ethical conflict between socially imposed conditions and primordial nature of man, with a distinctive dark and negative vibe being channeled into a new musical direction again by Key V on vocals and guitar, LV’s on bass, and P on drums.

The sinister beats by P ignite the opening tune Heart of Hearts, evolving into an experimental beast by the trio where Key V is on fire with his riffage supported by the metallic bass by LV’s. Put differently, it’s like a heavier version of Mastodon with an European twist, and they keep hammering their sonic weapons mercilessly in Inviting Birds, sounding visceral, raw and electrifying from start to finish with Key V roaring the song’s acid words nonstop, resulting in a solid hybrid of Black, Death and Experimental Metal. Another devilish, somber intro grows in intensity until the gnarls and guitars by Key V penetrate deep inside your psyche in Vexierkasten, with LV’s and P making your head tremble with their infernal kitchen; whereas razor-edged riffs permeate the air in Mama, a galloping tune led by the neck-breaking drums by P exhaling groove, obscurity and obviously metal, inviting us all for a wicked music voyage together with those Polish rockers.

Srebrne szlaki, which features guest vocals by Ataman Tolovy and lyrics taken from Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan (with Polish translation by Anna Warso and Wojciech Góralczyk, Kultura Gniewu 2018), is even more experimental and idiosyncratic than its predecessors, exploding into an evil extravaganza spearheaded by the wicked riffs by Key V, while Penis Fencing carries a weird name for a song that keeps the album at a high level of acidity and dementia, with P dictating the song’s pace together with LV’s and his progressive bass lines. Then futuristic sounds and tones kick off their second to last experiment titled Balance of Power, before the trio comes ripping once again with their Stoner Metal-infused sonority. Moreover, Key V and LV’s are in total and absolute sync until the very last second. Lastly, the trio is ready to surprise us all once again in The Torun Horse, a melancholic instrumental tune that will bring darkness to your damned soul, featuring music based on Béla Tarr’s A torinói ló soundtrack by Mihály Vig.

It’s impressive how +MROME+ are capable of reinventing themselves with each one of their releases without selling out or sounding cheesy at all; quite the contrary, the evolution in their music is a thing of beauty, and Barbaric Values is the perfect depiction of their skills and their passion for heavy music, never afraid of pushing the boundaries and trying new things in their career. Hence, don’t forget to stream all of their creations on Spotify, and to grab your copy of their newest album from BandCamp, from Merch.is or from Apple Music, saying FUCK YOU to messengers of dread and obedience just like the guys from +MROME+ themselves like to do on a daily basis in the name of good and meaningful music.

Best moments of the album: Heart of Hearts, Mama and Srebrne szlaki.

Worst moments of the album: Penis Fencing.

Released in 2022 NRA

Track listing
1. Heart of Hearts 5:04
2. Inviting Birds 5:09
3. Vexierkasten 6:05
4. Mama 5:25
5. Srebrne szlaki 7:23
6. Penis Fencing 5:20
7. Balance of Power 6:12
8. The Torun Horse 6:42

Band members
Key V – vocals, guitar
LV’s – bass
P – drums

Guest musician
Ataman Tolovy – vocals on “Srebrne szlaki”

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