Arriving a year and a half after 2014’s triumphant comeback LP Czarna Dzika Czerwie?, Ozimina (Arachnophobia) offers undeniable sonic proof that reconstituted expat Polish pagan metal titans THY WORSHIPER have refined their spicy blend of Eastern European-flavoured folk and crisp blackened crunch to a majestic, mid-paced simmer. Craving unconventional rhythms, barren riffs, and trad-meets-contemporary instrumentation that is leagues beyond the well-populated Shire of generic Hobbit metal? This is your official Sunday morning hangover soundtrack.
Stark atmosphere trumps immediate headbanging gratification throughout as all six tracks organically twist beyond narrow verse-chorus-verse confines to chart a winding left-hand course through traditional Polish ethnomusicological terrain. Djembe, jaw harp, didgeridoo, quirky percussion (at times sounding lifted directly from Herbie Hancock’s Headhunter) and strings ably supplement murky guitars and keening male-female vocals, top-heavy with the burdensome lamentations of generations past. Despite this heady, slightly intimidating list of musical ingredients, THY WORSHIPER keeps this seemingly disparate world metal stew bound together with an adventurous, noose-tight rhythm section, allowing vocalists Anna Malarz and Marcin G?siorowski to stand front and centre in the pocket of an appropriately sparse mix.
Ozimina cruises for the most part with somber, ritualistic momentum (apart from spritely opener ‘Brzask’), but never plods. Succinct, subtle and spare, THY WORSHIPER makes good and then some on its previously unrealized promise. Equal parts pastoral and thoroughly post-modern, Ozimina is a must-grab for any discriminating contemporary pagan metal connoisseur.