Krynitza - _Angel_
(Sonnenvolk / Stellar Winter, 2005)
by: Quentin Kalis (7.5 out of 10)
Contrary to the style of the majority of bands under the aegis of the Moscow based Stellar Winter label, Krynitza are a neofolk act, in the tradition of World Serpent bands. The songs are based around an acoustic guitar accompanied by a flute, violin and traditional drums. Both male and female vocals are incorporated, although the lady, who sounds like she has a classically trained voice, is largely reduced to "oohing" and "aahing" in the background. Granted, it adds to the atmosphere -- but why couldn't her vocal talents have been better utilised and more often? The male vocalist appears to lack her classical training and, in common with many of his black metal brethren, sings out of key.

Although it sounds like the sort of cliché spouted by folk metal bands, there is a definite atavistic tone, present in the sense that one can easily imagine being transported back to a time when monotheism was but a dream. This feeling is accentuated by their frequent yet superfluous use of samples of nature -- breaking waves, wind blowing, crackling fire. Although hardly groundbreaking, their use is infinitely preferable to the samples of battle which infest their songs of their heavier ideological brethren.

Metal is capable of being appreciated without reference to the actual lyrics, which in many cases require the assistance of a lyric sheet. But the same is not applicable to music of this nature, and I feel I am definitely missing somewhat by being unable to understand the lyrics -- or even have so much as a basic translation.

This is a pleasant enough diversion from the travails of modern life, and their Slavic approach makes for a change from their compatriots in the neofolk scene, who tend to draw upon Celtic and Germanic influences.


(article published 5/10/2006)

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