Grai - Our Native Land (О Земле Родной) review
|Album:||Our Native Land (О Земле Родной)|
|Release date:||September 2011|
01. The Song About The Native Land
02. The Wheaten Song
03. Winter Tale
05. Through The Forests
07. Go Away, Sorrow (Leave Us, Sorrow)
08. Lament About The Lot
09. Brave Warrior
10. Get Up From Your Knees!
I'm starting to feel like folk metal is becoming more and more of a niche market. These days most of the new bands making waves are playing some variant, usually pagan black metal with folk elements, or (at the other end of the spectrum) hyper-shallow drinking-songs. Is anyone out there still looking for just some straight up melodic folk?
I hadn't really considered this until Grai's new album Our Native Land came across my desk. It's been a while since I heard something like this, something that wasn't folk based in or around black, death, melo-death, symphonic, prog, Vikings, cheap drinking songs, or some other variant. No matter how much I love some of those variants it's nice to hear just folk metal sometimes. And this is it.
Grai is playing some of the most solid music I've heard in a long time in this genre, and if that's something that has been lacking in your life, look no further than Our Native Land. If you need aggressive elements to enjoy folk metal, then this album probably won't satisfy you. The tempos vary from danceable to soothing, with moods from elated to contemplative. You'll find female vocals by not one but three ladies: the flutist and keyboardist accompany the primary vocalist for some subtly dynamic harmonies and nice variety when they alternate leads. You also have growls added by the bass player to further flesh out this already well-rounded sound.
One big feeling I get from this band is that there are no stars, just an ensemble that loves creating music together. According to the press release, "Grai" is Russian for "the bird's cry" and these Russians certainly exhibit a connection to nature in their music. Flute-driven melodies are supported by the guitar (it's still metal, after all), making you feel like you stumbled upon a late afternoon gathering of some mountain- and forest-dwelling beings, who happily invite you into their circle.
Written on 17.01.2012 by
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of sub-genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.
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