KŁY

Well the election is over so let’s talk about something else: Kły.

Have you ever wondered what it’d have been like to be those first people who heard that first Black Sabbath album? The ones who hated it? The first album was panned heavily when it came out by generally everyone. The general descriptor was “hippies trying to be scary and playing badly. done before. boring. dumb”.

I always wondered how it would have been to hear it through those ears since now we just hear a genre defining record packed with radio hits. I suppose it’s natural to wonder about this, it’s sorta the metalheads version of being there for opening night of Psycho and having an experience everyone afterwards can only know about second hand.

That’s the introduction I want to use for Kły specifically and for that Śląsk/Kraków Poland metal scene that’s happening right now. Mgła is the famous band out of it, but probably the least representative one as they went really normal western-style metal recently. More the ones like Furia, Gorycz, Entropia, Biesy, Plaga, or as I said, Kły.

This is the part where I drop the link and I hope you click it, it’s the context:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wmgyy5SzpA

It’s a long track and it’s hard to listen to. That’s the point. Hippies playing badly, done before, boring, dumb.

The sample in the beginning is longer than comfortable, the poor recording on the drums (or drum machine), the slower tempos with very few blast beats (there’s only one sorta near the end), the guitar sounds sloppy compared to most BM, the lack of catchy riffs overall, the lack of a heavy tone throughout, the going between spoken word and harsh vocals, the cheap and non-traditional artwork, the themes being oddly cosmic and I won’t say psychedelic but it’s more that than it is generic metal…

First time I heard something like it I remember thinking “oh, it’s an up and coming band. They’ll get better at it soon”. Then the other bands started releasing stuff and I realized, no this is the sound. This is a microscene and this is what it’s supposed to sound like.

Some people call it ‘post-black metal’ and I dunno. The term already got bandied about for things like Deafhaven and Nachtmystium (spit) and this is nothing like it. I agree both are things that just sound … off to most metal listeners, but this is a step beyond what the US bands are doing. The chord structures of black metal are there but usually buried in repeating psychedelia and even in what would say is 90s throwback minimalist riffing but without the distortion that lets those moments sound full.

It’s a bare sound throughout. It exposes the workings. The sound is representative of the place. This is cold mud in a city, this is factories, this is small basement clubs, this is a chemical haze. This is unpleasant but the unpleasantness of urban loneliness. It’s grey metal.

And I don’t mean to predict that this bunch of local Polish bands on bandcamp will be the new hyper influential genre defining thing like Sabbath was. Really, I kinda doubt most these bands will even make it to spotify seeing as it’s a local scene to an east european country.

I just mean that this is probably what it was like: hearing some kids from an industrial town and thinking to yourself “this is a bit dull. maybe they’ll get better and fit in later”. This is what it was to hear Black Sabbath in 1969.

Metal

So we were at a show at Brick by Brick once and this guy started talking to us, just randomly telling us about his photography and whatnot, and out of nowhere goes “I saw the best ever metal shirt the other day” and I thought “Oh boy, here we go” but asked “Oh yeah? what was it?” and he goes “It was for this black metal band and on the back it just said YOU’RE IN THE WRONG PART OF THE FOREST MOTHERFUCKER” and I just remember thinking “… well shit. that is the best metal shirt isn’t it”

Storytelling

My hot take opinion that makes me a persona non-grata in any tabletop GM forum is that world-building is almost completely a waste of time. Before the mods ban me, hear me out one moment.

The player experience is linear. Looking back on the campaign, the party