W śnialni, the latest record from the Polish avant-garde black metal project Furia, feels like a musical head trip. The title translates as “In The Dream Room,” which provides a good idea of where this compelling album is going.
The cover art, which depicts what looks like an explosion of color, aptly reflects the poignant but unsettling experience of the music. The record contains two tracks, and both pieces of music are lengthy, with a little over 16 and a little over 13 minutes of sound.
Track one, “Wesele w śnialni” or, in translation, “Wedding in the Dream Room,” begins with several minutes of a quiet cacophony — there’s a siren-like sound and smatterings of other tones, providing a sense of somewhat chaotic sonic surroundings for the album’s journey. It feels somewhat like listening to the edges of a city. There’s no particularly palpable order in the cacophony, which instead feels unpredictable and begins to build a sense of metaphysical anxiety that majorly spikes once the guitars kick in.
Feedback-infused guitars start in earnest around five and a half minutes, and after a few minutes, the pace picks up considerably and generally builds across the song’s runtime. By the end, there’s a vibrant frenzy of repeating rhythms.
For minutes at a time, the music is relatively unbroken, like the sonic equivalent of unhinged reverie. The instrumentation, including poignantly resounding drum hits, feels strong, but — to take a cue from the title — there’s a sense of a kind of dreamy surreality in the sound. As the riffing rolls on for minutes without much of a break, the music feels like it morphs together — although it’s not an overwhelming tidal wave of sound, it’s not entirely crisp either, and Furia sound like they use these fuzzy edges as part of the experience.
The journey feels strangely alluring. Thanks to the energy and the overall force of the riffing, there’s a brash feeling of brightness in the music amidst the billowing haze, like staggering unknowingly towards distant lights as a thick and disorienting fog spreads through surroundings. Some of the riffing also feels weirdly catchy — it lingers, like a smell of smoke.
Like track one, the record’s second track — “Tańcowały chochoły Wyjawienie,” or “Disclosure Dances Danced,” in translation — begins on a comparatively quiet note. The track prominently features an array of voices from “actors involved with, among others, the National Old Theatre in Kraków and a miners’ orchestra,” according to information provided on Bandcamp, but there’s also a rich frenzy in the instrumentals. The riffing on track two feels a bit more groove-oriented, with more space in the rhythms providing a nice chance to inwardly move with the music. It’s almost jazzy in the sense that it’s subtly danceable, but like the first track, the music grows into a destabilizing sonic melee.
Across W śnialni, the music is poignant, and the vibrant dynamics in the sound make the journey feel organically immersive. Taking a cue from the actors who make an appearance on the album, Furia sound like they’ve orchestrated a play exploring the limits of sanity. Instead of turning to shocks, Furia opted for a dizzying sense of musical anxiety. The stage is the mind, and observers are swept up as the performers.
Listen below! W śnialni is available via Pagan Records.