Last Updated on Monday, 28 January 2013 14:02
Album: Wind of Freedom
Label: Svarga Music
Genre: Pagan Metal, Folk Metal
Ukrainian Paganland recorded their first full CD Wind of Freedom in 2011, and soon their masterpiece will finally be released to the world.
What can you expect from Paganland?
In short: pagan metal (you could guess that by their name), Ukrainian lyrics, soundscapes that invoke icy windswept Ukrainian winters, blast beat drums, Slavic folk tunes – all jammed together in tracks that are relatively short for the genre (6:44 minutes maximum).
Should you care about yet another pagan metal release?
Pagan metal has arguably become the most popular metal genre of this decade, replacing the overly popular symphonic (often female-fronted) metal of the previous decade.
Paganland, however, bring something new. Most likely, it's their Slavic folk influence, and lyrical themes of -amongst others- Kamennaya Mogila , the sanctuary-observatory of Khortytsia and the runic manuscripts from the library of Anna Yaroslavna.
Wind of Freedom has a sound that is different from the Celtic and Nordic influences on most pagan metal albums.
Wind of Freedom contains 8 tracks – of which 5th track “Podolyanka” stands out as excellent: a young boy starts singing the lead tune (most likely, a Slavic folk song), which is then repeated instrumentally when the metal turns loose. This track has the same delicate quality as “Dead Boy's Poem” by Nightwish.
“Shadows of the Past” starts with the bluesy atmosphere and chords of “When You're In” by Pink Floyd, as covered by Tiamat – but then turns into a melancholic track with layers of flutes and humming.
“Chornohora” is a stage-hit in the making: the rhythm, chorus and bass lines all seem to invite you to shout “Hey, Hey!” along with the band. “Night Forest” uses an atypical set of chords – inspired by Slavic folk music maybe? - that add a jazzy touch.
“Fogs and Twilight” is inspired by the battle metal of Elexorien (and -to a lesser extent- Battlelore). The final track of the album “Wind of Freedom” invokes less the cold, windy plains than the other tracks, but still manages to sound differently from the typical pagan metal.
When reviewing two pagan/folk metal releases within the same week, it is impossible to avoid comparison. While I listened to Paganland and Feuerseele, I thought that Paganland was the more experienced band of the two – and it's to my surprise that I notice how undiscovered they stand on the internet, as of now.
So, if you like pagan/folk metal, and you're in for a new twist to the genre – check out Paganland from Ukraine.
Listen to “Вітер Волі” by Paganland here – the album will be released on March 4th, 2013.