Herida Profunda – Power to the People

The four members of Herida Profunda have a lot to anger them. They hate seeing their home country of Poland governed by the right-wing populists in the Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość). Since 2015, their government has tried to pack the judiciary with political appointees and moved the state towards social conservatism. The EU Commission is not impressed and wants to withhold structural funds as punishment for imperilling the rule of law. Times like these do not call for subtle pop songs from champagne socialists – they call for grindcore.

To their credit, Herida Profunda choose not to abandon musicianship in the cause of direct action on their sophomore effort, and the variety of extreme metal and punk influences on this record will have no problem holding your attention. Let’s be honest, how can you stay in the background as a spectator when the songs are like blow dryers in your face and the vocals are as carnivorous as a flesh-eating chieftain? The opening title track is the type of brutal onslaught that still draws a smile through its sheer absurdity. How can the drummer play at 250bpm? Can you even discern the guitarist’s chord changes underneath the maelstrom of chaos? Follow up, ‘Dirty Hands’, does the opposite and pivots towards pogoing basslines and dissonant guitar slashes while the dual vocal histrionics smack you in the face. Listen to the violent bounce of ‘Wave of Hate’? Is this not d-beat hardcore with punk rock heroics and death metal growls?

Often, the tempos are too fast for the guitars to demonstrate their full might. When they do, they stand out like four-leaf clovers. The precise thrash metal techniques of ‘Lie’ and ‘Homophobic’ land on the crossover kill shot in style. ‘Scene of Exclusion’ is more death metal than grindcore, although the band’s decision to fade out at the three-quarter mark only to reprise the same riff for a further forty seconds is rather unusual. The pentatonic rock scales leading the blast beats in ‘War on All’ are just as strange but no less exciting. Herida Profunda are at their best when they combine their extreme metal fury with classic skater punk riffs and discordant chord changes. This is how Voivod’s 2003 comeback album with Jason Newstead should have sounded – noisy, fuzzy on the low-end, crusty to the core, ambiguous in its embrace of melody and dissonance. The closing track, ‘Wastelands’, goes far beyond grindcore and into noise rock/post-hardcore territory for a rare two-minutes of sustained action.

Those of you with a trained ear for this type of music will marvel at the subtle experimentation in these songs. But you might find the extreme left-wing ideology in the lyrics harder to digest. “Fuck false gods made up for profits/ Your own moral spine is better than this crap,” might be the worst lyrics since Trent Reznor speculated that “He’s got the answers to ease my curiosity/ He dreamed a god up and called it Christianity.” This anti-intellectual impatience with civilisations that endure to this day should not be dismissed as nonsense and then imbued with a weak sociological generalisation to render them irrelevant. The lazy attack on the idiocy of patriotism as a manipulative tool dreamed up by the ruling caste (see ‘Remembrance Day’) is as predictable as the band’s stance on religion as the opium of the masses. A call to arms to hunt saboteurs worldwide is much more interesting on the excellent ‘Hunter Will Be Hunted’.

“We have always been a band with a political message, but maybe the way to win the struggle is to cut off all political content, self-organise, resist, do your own thing, build your own world where justice is served and the machine of corruption and suffering collapse,” say the band in their press release. Their music is urgent and intoxicating, and their fervent belief in a better parallel world is infectious. Herida Produnda do not forget that their primary job is to entertain, and the twenty-four minutes of chaos they serve up here are difficult to resist. Indeed, your only concern at the end is how they manage to dazzle you with so many competing musical ideas in such a short space of time.



Release Date: 22/07/2022

Record Label: 7 Degrees Records / 783punx

Standout tracks: Lie; Hunters Will Be Hunted; Homophobic

Suggested Further Listening: Razoreater – Purgatory EP (2021), Human Cull – To Weep for Unconquered Worlds (2022), Socioclast – Socioclast (2021)