Rating:
N/A
Grai - Our Native Land (О Земле Родной)
27 September 2011


01. The Song About the Native Land
02. The Wheaten Song
03. Winter Tale
04. Spring
05. Through the Forests
06. Leshak
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
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Susan ››



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Boxcar Willy - 17.01.2012 at 05:28  
Never really listened to folk... Might give this a try.

Nice review!
Valentin B - 17.01.2012 at 10:23  
the cover looks like a communist propaganda poster
Øyvind - 17.01.2012 at 10:50  
Written by Valentin B on 17.01.2012 at 10:23

the cover looks like a communist propaganda poster


Yeah, or a communist coat of arms
PocketMetal - 17.01.2012 at 11:14  
Lyrinan positive review = auto check out
Draugen - 17.01.2012 at 12:48  
Oooh! This sounds really good.
Troy Killjoy - 17.01.2012 at 16:48  
Have no interest in the music, just came to post this:
Mr. Doctor - 17.01.2012 at 17:09  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 17.01.2012 at 16:48

Have no interest in the music, just came to post this:


Wheat metal is really catching on dude.
Troy Killjoy - 17.01.2012 at 17:11  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 17.01.2012 at 17:09
Wheat metal is really catching on dude.

Farmercore?
Nightfall - 17.01.2012 at 17:21  
Written by Valentin B on 17.01.2012 at 10:23

the cover looks like a communist propaganda poster


This really made me laugh. Thanks for pointing that out.
Edmund Fogg - 17.01.2012 at 17:51  
Really interesting. Listened to a couple of tracks on youtube, but I feel like a whole album of this would bore me. It seems that just like alcoohol, Pure Folk is good only in moderation. (to my ears)
Sync - 17.01.2012 at 19:16  
The album title sounds very Drudkh-ish to me.
Troy Killjoy - 17.01.2012 at 19:20  
Written by Sync on 17.01.2012 at 19:16
The album title sounds very Drudkh-ish to me.

Legit? I was turned off by the mention of pure folk, but if these guys are similar to Drudkh then maybe I should check 'em out.

Post YouTube video to help a lazy brother out?
Marcel Hubregtse - 17.01.2012 at 19:21  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 17.01.2012 at 19:20

Written by Sync on 17.01.2012 at 19:16
The album title sounds very Drudkh-ish to me.

Legit? I was turned off by the mention of pure folk, but if these guys are similar to Drudkh then maybe I should check 'em out.

Post YouTube video to help a lazy brother out?


where does he say the music sound Drudkh-ish?
Troy Killjoy - 17.01.2012 at 19:22  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 17.01.2012 at 19:21
where does he say the music sound Drudkh-ish?

Just re-read the post.

TITLE. D<
vezzy - 17.01.2012 at 20:11  
Pwned.

By the way, who are these no good commies?
Mr. Doctor - 17.01.2012 at 20:28  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 17.01.2012 at 19:20

Written by Sync on 17.01.2012 at 19:16
The album title sounds very Drudkh-ish to me.

Legit? I was turned off by the mention of pure folk, but if these guys are similar to Drudkh then maybe I should check 'em out.

Post YouTube video to help a lazy brother out?


I heard NO Drudkh on this album AT ALL. I'm honestly thinking this guy is making you a trap.
Sync - 17.01.2012 at 20:41  
Erm... Im only refering to the album title guys, not the music itself, sorry if there was any confusion ^^
Marcus - 17.01.2012 at 21:47  
Since you liked this, you should also check out Zywiolak if you haven't already.
Matus Dust - 17.01.2012 at 21:51  
Great folk metal album. Nothing more, nothing less.
Troy Killjoy - 18.01.2012 at 00:42  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 17.01.2012 at 20:28
I heard NO Drudkh on this album AT ALL. I'm honestly thinking this guy is making you a trap.

Re-read the posts above (re: Marcel correcting me).
Mr. Doctor - 18.01.2012 at 00:44  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 18.01.2012 at 00:42

Written by Mr. Doctor on 17.01.2012 at 20:28
I heard NO Drudkh on this album AT ALL. I'm honestly thinking this guy is making you a trap.

Re-read the posts above (re: Marcel correcting me).


I don't read other people's mistakes, I make my own mistakes like a boss.
Therefore I shall ignore history and start killing people from a certain race only to prove that I was wrong.
K†ulu - 18.01.2012 at 13:15  
Written by Øyvind on 17.01.2012 at 10:50

Written by Valentin B on 17.01.2012 at 10:23

the cover looks like a communist propaganda poster


Yeah, or a communist coat of arms

Actually the band name is written as a Ukrainian coat of arms, so I could not believe these guys were from Russia. Also the cover: wheat field and the blue skye --> Ukrainian symbols reflected on our flag... what a coincidence!

Øyvind - 18.01.2012 at 13:37  
Written by K†ulu on 18.01.2012 at 13:15

Written by Øyvind on 17.01.2012 at 10:50

Written by Valentin B on 17.01.2012 at 10:23

the cover looks like a communist propaganda poster


Yeah, or a communist coat of arms

Actually the band name is written as a Ukrainian coat of arms, so I could not believe these guys were from Russia. Also the cover: wheat field and the blue skye --> Ukrainian symbols reflected on our flag... what a coincidence!




The point was about the wheat branches, Romanian, Yugoslavian, USSR, DPR Korea, all used or still use some sort of grain on their coats of arms. And good job on seeing the Ukrainian connection
K†ulu - 18.01.2012 at 13:56  
Written by Øyvind on 18.01.2012 at 13:37

The point was about the wheat branches, Romanian, Yugoslavian, USSR, DPR Korea, all used or still use some sort of grain on their coats of arms. And good job on seeing the Ukrainian connection

I see what you mean now . I Ukrainian, so I caught those similarities immediately.
Raizer - 19.01.2012 at 18:40  
Here's the video:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7v7P4ANiYI&list=UU2rvsgr-_AIj0r13u6RU-Rg&index=3&feature=plcp
www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RPO05BNDZU&list=UU2rvsgr-_AIj0r13u6RU-Rg&index=2&feature=plcp

www.facebook.com/pages/GRAI-folk-metal-band-from-Russia/109421999135271
www.napalmrecords.com/product_info.php?products_id=14249
Raizer - 19.01.2012 at 20:23  
Why not rating this release?
Troy Killjoy - 19.01.2012 at 21:27  
Written by Raizer on 19.01.2012 at 20:23
Why not rating this release?

Mostly because when you rate a review, 90% of the comments are set on debating said score.

N/A means users comment on the content of the review and respond to what the reviewer had to say.
metalwolf - 20.01.2012 at 00:28  
To be honest: I kinda like it....both the music and the review. It doesn't always have to be doom and gloom and those guys (and gails) seem to be having fun and it reflects on their music.
Mindheist - 20.01.2012 at 03:12  
A magical journey into the heart of Folk. Folk metal is the genre I love the most but I don't even recall the last time I chanced upon something this pure, this authentic, this true. What can I say, I kind of envy you because I have always wanted to review something in the vein of Grai and except for Skiltron I never got the chance to.

Thank you for introducing them to me
Raizer - 20.01.2012 at 09:59  
Thank you for your comments!
During the discussion of opinion that the group is not from Russia! I want to assure you that this command from the heart of Russia! And no relation to Ukraine, the Communists and all that was listed above.
This is a group that makes music from the soul, and with all heart!
NocturnalStalker - 21.01.2012 at 07:48  
Great review, Lyrinan!
I should check out this album. After all I try not to miss any good metal albums released in my country. Not to mention that I haven't been able to listen to some pure and authentic folk metal for some years now.
Raizer - 03.01.2013 at 11:29  
Today is the date of the album "O Zemle Rodnoy" re-release at Vic Records (Netherlands)! In honour of this event the band GRAI presents all the listeners a new song "V obyatyach Mary". The song is a bonus-track to this release.

Details of the release of the album - www.vicrecords.com/news.html

www.facebook.com/pages/GRAI-folk-metal-band-from-Russia/109421999135271

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