Černá: Restoring Life

Coming out of Kalamazoo, Michigan is Černá, a one-man instrumental, post-black metal band formed in 2011. Cody McCoy, the visionary behind Černá, is also the drummer for Death/Crust band Traitor and progressive death band Boreworm – both of which are great bands but are very unlike what he has created with Černá.


The first objective any band has before creating an album is to find the sound that best fits the atmosphere and Černá has created something that is precisely what was necessary to do what this album intended to accomplish. McCoy manages to find a wonderful guitar tone that is versatile enough to capture a level of heaviness but is still melodic and able to put the post in post-black metal. The “Společně” tracks, I – V, are their own tale within the album as a whole and vary in levels of aggression, heaviness, and nostalgic melodies that remind you of days long gone – like the feeling of remembering an event that you know will never happen again yet you are content. The track, “IV: Embrace the Stars” contains one of the more satisfying buildups with the final minutes requiring you to turn up the volume and feel the bittersweet joy in your gut.


The title track,“Restoring Life”, which strangely enough is also a bonus track and takes on a slightly different tone than the “Společně” series with a bit more texture-based guitars but soon feels like the only proper catharsis to follow up “V: Lullaby,” is the absolute manifestation of the album as a whole. All of the feelings and elements of Restoring Life are conjured in the title track making it the best on the album. “Isa”, another bonus track, is the last on the album and is by far the most aggressive song and best represents post-black metal. McCoy’s drumming skills shine through here and are a great example of how black metal should have more variety in this avenue. His use of the ride cymbal around 1:18 adds so much flavor and his jazzy drumming in the interlude mid-song perfectly compliment the guitars and bass.


While McCoy has made great strides and achieved great beauty throughout Restoring Life, it however does not come without flaw. “Woken in Prague” is the first track and does not really serve as a suitable introduction to the album as nothing stands out about it from the rest and it becomes one of those songs you would rather just skip to get to the meat. “V: Lullaby” is pretty dull until the last minute as the first 4 ½ are some basic acoustic guitar with sounds of rain in the background, which we have all heard before and add little to the overall emotional conjuration. While nothing is wrong with “Isa”, perhaps it would have been better suited as the introduction rather than an outro.


Despite the flaws of Restoring Life, McCoy has great composition skills and does a very good job tracking the album as all instruments serve a distinct purpose. The overall sound is something other post-black metal bands should aspire for and learn from. Since the release of Restoring Life, Černá has released a split with Aylwin, another post-black metal band from California, and Černá so far shows consistency in talent and composition. Follow this band because if McCoy keeps up the work, you’ll find it among greats in “Best of the Year” lists.


Černá Official Facebook

Restoring Life on Bandcamp

Written by Cole Olsen

Černá: Restoring Life
Domestic Genocide Records
4.5 / 5