Kroda - _Towards the Firmaments Verge of Life..._
(Ancient Nation, 2005)
by: Quentin Kalis (9 out of 10)
The astute reader may notice that this is the third Kroda release to be reviewed here in recent months. The reason for this simple: they are a damn good band, yet little known outside of Eastern Europe, especially in comparison to fellow countrymen Nokturnal Mortum and Drudkh. Yet having heard nearly their entire discography (with the exception of their debut), I do not hesitate for a mere second to state that they are on a par with these giants of the Ukrainian scene.

Their previous two splits (with heathen brethren Oprich and Velimor) were hardly terrible, but the inherent limitations of the format did not allow them to fully develop their sound. Given the freedom of a full-length, the duo of Eisenslav and Viterzgir have produced an album as epic as it is stunning. The songs are more varied than on previous releases, but their trademark sopilka (duct flute) is present as always, as well as a number of other folk instruments.

The CD booklet (all twenty pages) is once again designed by Viterzgir, with beautiful photographs carefully selected to complement the lyrics -- for which English translations are thankfully provided, and despite their NS roots, seem primarily centred around themes of national romanticism.

The closer is a cover of "Wrath", by Polish RAC band Honor (from _Raiders of Revenge, their split with Graveland) which can hardly be considered one of the high points of the album -- but by this point it simply does not matter. To summarise, this is an amazing album that belatedly features in my 2005 top 10.


(article published 12/1/2007)

3/25/2009 Q Kalis 7.5 Kroda - Live in Lemburg
6/23/2007 Q Kalis 9 Kroda - Fimbulvinter
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