I have a tough nut to crack with Gruzja debut album “I iść Dalej” – “And to go further”. And it’s not because music is bad. Quite opposite, musically this album will defend itself. Thing is that it makes a whole the concept, music, lyrics and visuals which will be hard to understand if you don’t know the Polish language. But let’s start from the beginning. Gruzja translates to Georgia and you can read that name in a different way as well. If you divide the name of the band in two separate words you get “Gruz” and “ja” which translates to “rubble” and “me”. Have in mind that “gruz” is a way to describe most underground, “badly” produced and evil metal music, so going against any fashionable and most trendy bands on today’s metal scene.
Could that be a too far going conclusion of the name? Who knows. Maybe it’s just a joke of the people behind the band. Same way as their Facebook account which contains lots of humorous content and most negative opinions about the band and their album together with funny pictures. You can’t deny that they have a distance to themselves and music they play. Even the promotional video of the song “Opuść mnie” – “Leave me” was more of a joke but came up with lot of controversy as it contained pieces of video taken from old (80’s) porn movies… It seems that due to this approach they have as many followers as an opposition.
So what’s the fuzz about? The devil’s in the detail, or in this example in lyrics. They are nihilistic and deal with XXI century problems. But don’t expect any modern, hipster like lyrics or any pseudo poetic blabber. Gruzja sees the slow but sure downfall of this world and instead of crying about it they bask it in with a sarcastic smile on their faces. Who said that praising the devil has to be done in one way only? If there’s a poetry in their lyrics its more decadent and closer to mumbling of deranged madman who drank too much vodka before putting his thoughts on paper. How else can you explain lyrics like the one in “Opuść mnie” which goes something like that: “Are you touched by porn from your youth, Love and origami out of women” or the beginning of “Gruzini” which starts with these words: “Nothing in those hills, So I came down, and my coming was louder, Than your climax, Dogs of the neighbours heard it, And they also wanted it” … I can’t explain it rationally but in some strange and twisted way it drills through my brain and make sense. I suppose it takes one to know one. Their label Godz ov War sums it perfectly with these words: “Music against aesthetisation, Music against shopping centres, Gals, devil, railway sidings”.
If it goes to music Gruzja plays Black Metal. Apparently, according to experts, there’s some Crust here and there but as I’m no expert in that I can hear only lots of influences of first and second wave of Black Metal. There’s lots of difference between the tracks. Some are slower, more groovy and melodic like “Moja Ratyzbona” and “Manam” (which even in the title refers to a well-known Polish band that was very popular during communistic time in that country) and quicker more speedy ones like “Gruzini”, “Opuść Mnie” and “Jego Głos” which starts with a simple but catchy riff. At the end we get two tracks that close the album and stand out to the rest. “Ilu Nas Było” – “How many of us have been” is a really slow track with declamations and almost doomy atmosphere and “Iść Dalej” is just a straight laugh in everybody face as it’s a electronic piece with almost gabber like deep bass. So definitely you won’t be bored by this album.
Question is, is it worth getting into “I Iść Dalej” as it can be hard for people who don’t understand the lyrics. I just think it is. Although the lyrics are in Polish they sound very good, the two vocalists “singing” are doing great job and they complete each other very well. There is something specific and special in bands that use their native language. I can’t imagine “I Iść Dalej” sung in in the English language. So if you don’t mind lyrics you won’t understand or, even better, if you spend some time or find somebody who will translate them; “I Iść Dalej” is a must have in your collection. (Sulphur)