Record of the Week: SVENTOYAR – Unity (Review)

Record of the Week

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Foreshadowing the tumultuous national events that would follow the release of this album, SVENTOYAR present a call for unity among the Slavs. The careful selection: nine traditional folk songs, three each from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.
The Metal of these songs (somewhere between modern heavy metal, death metal and power metal) is used to build the scale, to infuse these traditional, often humble, songs with a grandeur and power that comes easily to amplified music. Having said that, the intrinsic glory and emotion of choral folk songs are impossible to recreate by replacing every element or forcing in others. Here the hammered dulcimer (tsymbaly) and vocals of Yulia Shiryaeva shine through with authenticity and the distinctive harmonisation of Slavic and east-European traditional song.
SVENTOYAR manage to recreate something rooted in the soul and the soil, led by the traditional naturally more on this album than their previous. An honest and timely celebration of Slavic culture from all regions!