text: Jean Relapse
Herzogian Darkness (EP)
March 30th, 2017
Medico Peste is one of these bands that make Poland one of the best countries in the world in terms of black metal. These guys from Cracow released their first demo in 2011 and their first full-length in 2012. Five years after, they come back with a new EP album, Herzogian Darkness. Don’t get it wrong: they are not newcomers at all, and these five years were worth it. In the meantime, two of the band members joined Mgła as permanent members according to M, and they’ve played live with them since Exercises in Futility. Acquiring this experience, we can expect them to get back into Medico Peste with more maturity and a whole lot of new ideas.
The cover art is representative of where the band leads you through its music. Dark, enigmatic, unsettling. A baby and a madman, scribbles and a black veil hiding most of the artwork. You know for sure this will drag you to the most obscure places of your mind. The travel starts with the eponymous title, a combination of slow, rampant parts and delirious blast-beats, upon which are voices, screams, grunts… If you knew Tremendum et Fascinatio, no huge surprise. Medico Peste doesn’t reinvent its music, it just exalts it.
Control is a vital element in their music. They not only have control over your ears, but they have it over your mind. A song such as Le Délire de Négation is a schizophrenic ballad in which Silencer loses his mind, using French to create some weird atmosphere. The control he has over his voice is quite impressive as he conveys strong emotions, even without getting all the words. I regret not having the lyrics by the time I write this, because I could barely understand them and I’m sure it adds a lot to the music.
The last song, Stigmata Martyr, is a Bauhaus cover and it has a more rock’n’roll feeling. It certainly acts as a intriguing interpretation of this early 80’s song and it characterizes Medico Peste’s wide range of inspiration. You can feel intelligence in their music as they’re not stuck in one simple and repetitive scheme. The only scheme it respects is the one created by their debut album, which is a symbol of stability from them. And above all, the good thing is that while listening to them, you don’t feel specific influences. The trap would’ve been to copy and paste the Mgła vibe and techniques. They could have, and it would have worked very well as they’re part of it and skilled enough to do that. I couldn’t think of any particular band while listening to Medico Peste as the music and the emotions are unique and personal.
I will conclude with the typical downside-that-isn’t-one of your typical review. It is too short. 25 minutes will definitely whet your appetite. You would love to hear more, to experience more as the travel is one of the most promising that 2017 had to offer. Isn’t that subtle from them? That’s how an interesting band becomes compelling. Give a glimpse of you mastering the dark arts, the sombre atmospheres, but leave people in a short explosion of dissonance and madness so that they are backed into a corner, turning the other cheek.