Navigating the wide expanse of human emotions and societal realities, “Napořád” by Czech dark screamo post-hardcore band ZMAR, out now via Zegema Beach Records and Dingleberry Records, encompasses an array of thought provoking themes. From the personal struggle of dealing with the loss of a loved one and the fight against societal pressures to fit in, to more politically charged topics such as the critique of capitalist ideologies, the propagation of hate for personal gains, and the ongoing fight for women’s rights and equality.
These themes are underscored by reflections on modern society, making it a profound commentary on our world today.
Today we dive deep into the details of each and every song through a special track by track rundown below.
Forever (Napořád) – The title track sets the tone for the entire album, commencing where the first LP concluded. The final song, “To Forget” (Zapomenout), from the previous record dealt with the anguish of losing someone close and the inability to recover lost time and unspoken words. This song concluded with the fear that pain would persist indefinitely and that the feeling of emptiness would be everlasting. The lyrics of “Forever” (Napořád) respond to these sentiments, conveying the message: “I’m not afraid anymore, now I know they will stay with me. I’m not afraid anymore, now I know they will stay with me forever.” This perfectly aligns the album’s title, “Forever” (Napořád), with the band’s name, “Ruin” (Zmar).
To Fit Into (Zařadit se) – This track addresses the societal pressure to conform and the exclusion of those who deviate from the universally accepted lifestyle. The song explores the daily resistance to such pressure, asserting that futile attempts will not coerce one to conform to societal expectations. Lyrics express a rejection of the supposed ‘right way of life’ and a refusal to have someone else dictate the course of one’s life.
Capitalization of Hatred (Kapitalizace nenávisti) – This track critiques those who exploit and proliferate hatred for personal gain, focusing particularly on the growing far-right and ultraconservative movements globally. It emphasizes that the fight for human rights is perpetual, and past accomplishments can be easily undone. The song references specific Czech and Slovak contexts, including “Movement for Life,” a Czech ultraconservative organization that forces women not to have abortions, irrespective of their circumstances, and lobbies for changes in Czech abortion laws. The song also mentions the hate crimes against two young LGBTI+ individuals in Slovakia in 2022, stressing the importance of speaking out against hatred, violence, and injustice.
The Last Shift (Poslední směna) – This track criticizes capitalist ideologies and the pervasive societal deception that endless productivity growth is necessary, leading individuals to exhaust their lives in pursuit of productivity rather than their dreams. The lyrics portray an image of toiling away in the ‘graveyards of our dreams’ and encourage listeners to stay engaged and neglect the reality of everyday life. The song concludes with a plea for dignity after one’s last shift is over.
The White Shadow (Bílej stín) – Heavily inspired by the game Returnal, which the artist greatly enjoyed during the COVID-19 restrictions, this song includes quotes from the protagonist Selene, who struggles against an inhospitable environment and her inner demons. The lyrics utilize Selene’s quotes and adopt a feminine lyricism pattern to subvert the dominant Czech masculine narrative.
Woman, Rose, Song, Revolution (Žena, růže, píseň, revoluce) – As the band’s inaugural feminist anthem, this song critiques patriarchal society. It juxtaposes Czech feminine noun patterns symbolizing revolution and autonomy against masculine noun patterns representing tradition and hegemony. The lyrics underscore the continued existence of sexism and rape culture despite legal equality, and express concerns about the rise of ultraconservative and far-right movements that seek to control women’s lives and bodies.
A Beautiful Place (Báječné místo) – This track is a concise rendition of the Czech translation of the poem “The World is a Beautiful Place” by American anarchist and pacifist poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The poem’s lyrics perfectly encapsulate the despair, resignation, and devastation of the COVID-19 era and the war in Ukraine. Despite these tragedies, it maintains