Tishina – Uvod [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

For the second year running, I find myself giving the TYMHM treatment to an album with Cyrillic in the title and which is right on the EP/album dividing line. As is my wont at this point, I am giving the record the benefit of the doubt because between I don’t frankly care whether it’s an album or not, it is deserving of your attention. Тишина / Tishina, meaning ‘silence’ in Serbian, is a project masterminded by Branislav Panić of the blackened death metal band, Bane. Its debut, Увод / Uvod (meaning ‘Introduction’), dropped back in May and sees Panić handle everything, except for drums, for which he drafted in long-time friend, Honza Kapák. At just half an hour in length, Uvod is a bite-sized, gorgeously melodic death doom album. It doesn’t, as Panić himself has said, push the envelope in terms of originality of sound, it just does what it does bloody well and sometimes that’s all I want. Mid-paced doom riffs pair with beautiful, soaring leads and gravelly, growled vocals, over expressive but low-key drumming.

Taking inspiration from genre classics such as early Katatonia, Saturnus’ Veronica Decides to Die and The Sullen Sulcus by Mourning Beloveth, Uvod has a feeling of epic grandeur about it, despite its short runtime. That sense of misery so deep that it’s somehow beautiful, which more recent standouts like Exgenesis and Soliloquium also capture and which is essential to good melodic doom,  just bleeds from Uvod. Tishina’s pacing and patience in execution also reminds me of The Drowning’s excellent The Radiant Dark, as it builds, gathering pace, before easing back and stripping away the non-essential pieces of its sound, as it lapses into contemplative passages (“Zauvek” / “Заувек”).

The lyrics for Tishina’s debut are drawn from a collection of poems, Nad Vodama Aheronta (I think this translates as something like, Over the waters of Acheron), by Serbian author Predrag Rava, which are reflections on loss, love and mourning. Although sung in Serbian, these themes come through clearly just in the sound delivered on Uvod. The album opens in quite stripped back, down-pace fashion on “z Mrtvog Ugla” / “Из Мртвог Угла”,  as Panić roars his pain to the skies—at times, its just his voice and a plaintive picked guitar alone—before a huge cascading doom riff is let loose. Showing his varied influences and talent for crafting songs that evolve and take the listener on a proper journey, the middle section of “Dve Crne Ruze” / “Две Црне Руже” falls into a brief blackened death swagger, while on “Zauvek” the guitar has a progressive edge to it in places.

As well as handling the drums, Kapák was in charge of mixing and mastering Uvod. I have no idea what his production credits are, if any, but I love what he’s done here. Tishina is given a huge, rounded sound, with a meaty, bass edge to it and the guitar tone has a yearning feel to it, which is just right. Everything is in its place on the soundstage, with nothing dominating the mix and the whole thing feels super clean, without being in any way clinical. Despite the fact the made-of-arms-and-eyes thing on the cover has no mouth, Tishina has made a big statement with its debut and I am hoping that, if Uvod is the introduction, there is a lot more to come.

Tracks to Check Out: I mean, there are only five and one of them’s a 48-second interlude, so … I don’t know, all of them?

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