Friday, February 08, 2013

Grai: O Zemle Rodnoy (2011)

О Земле Родной

Review by Patrick, proprietor of Beards, Etc.

Grai are a female-fronted Russian folk metal group. The newly-released O Zemle Rodnoy is their second full album.

More than anything else, this record reminds me of Cruachan. The female vocals have a similar sound, and the liberal use of flute as the primary folk instrument is in keeping with that band's musical approach. The overall effect is that this seems more like a Celtic folk metal record than something from Russia, though evidently the band actually employ numerous traditional Russian folk instruments throughout the album.

The feel of the music is generally pretty upbeat and, for lack of a better word, pastoral. Well constructed and well executed, it makes for easy, enjoyable listening. There's no real bite to it, though, and it doesn't have that meaty barbarism that so much folk metal employs to great effect. As such, it's not the best record in the world for somebody who wants something to headbang to or who wants anything particularly dark and severe.

Basically, it's good at what it does, but what it does is not particularly powerful or captivating.

The Verdict: 3 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. Arkona is probably a better alternative to this. Another female-fronted Russian folk metal band, their songs alternate between more folk-oriented stuff and more driving, metal stuff. The singer's nickname is "Scream" if that tells you anything.