REVIEW: MORA PROKAZA – “By Chance”
Tired of the same old bands and endless copycat acts? Why not try some extreme trap-infused black metal with European tribal roots?
The Belarusian duo known as Mora Prokaza offers a refreshingly different experience with their latest album, ‘By Chance’. The band’s previous releases were more toward the standard black metal side, but I much prefer this new, more experimental approach that sounds like if Windir dabbled in electronic music and listened to a lot of rap. Vocal triplets are heavily dispersed throughout the thirty-one-minute album, with a variety of instruments scattered amongst black metal style guitars, and simple yet intricate percussion from a drummer, Hatestorm. All but the drums, including writing and mastering, are credited to frontman and founding member, Farmakon, who also appears on the album cover.
The opening track and one of the album’s singles, “WIMG”, is easily one of the most entertaining, catchy, and heavy songs to appear. Had I not checked out the music video, however, I not only wouldn’t have known that it is partly in English, but also that the title stands for “where is my gun?”. My favorite track has to be the other recently released single, “Check It”, which definitely belongs on the soundtrack to a racing game. The best way to describe it is simply to say that it’s “tough” – and the hint of bass clarinet and sax help, too. The following track, “I’m A Human”, is one of the more straightforward black metal pieces, featuring an atmospheric keyboard and blast beats. Contrarily, “I See It This Way”, which happens to be the only song not under four minutes, quickly became yet another highlight, with it’s slow and sinister groove and a smattering of deep, altered, grunt-like vocals.
Lyrically speaking, both “Madonna” and “Sorry Man” remain lodged in my daily routine, as I find myself absent-mindedly chanting the title words. The latter particularly intrigues me with the slightly panicked vocal layers that emerge, whereas “Madonna” is similar to a Tibetan mantra. “Be There” also grew on me with multiple listens, starting off slowly and expanding into a gradual showcase of Hatestorm’s cymbal work.
All in all, it’s invigorating to come upon creativity within an overly-saturated age of the arts. Mora Prokaza delivers a short and strapping album in ‘By Chance’, fusing an array of odd and unexpected elements together within a general black metal composition. There might be a touch too much repetition, however, this duo is by far the most interesting experiment I’ve heard in a while, and this is coming from someone who typically despises modern electronic music. Even more impressive and respectable is Farmakon’s mostly independent way of doing things, taking charge of his project from formation to performance to production. ‘By Chance’ is eerie, intricate, and, to put it bluntly, gangster as hell.