Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Grai-Полынь-Трава (Warmot The Bitter Grass)

Russian folk metal, now there is something to remember, something different and fresh in the folk metal scene. Now, regular readers know that I am pretty much a folk metal nerd (read: I am very single) and for a long time I thought that I had heard just about everything under the sun as far as folk metal was concerned. And then I put on the new record from Grai Warmot the Bitter Grass (For the record, all of the tracks are in Russian but for practical reasons I will be using their English names) and this album simply blew me away with its passionate and vivid soundscapes.

The first thing that will strike you about this record is the fascinating Eastern Russian melodies that characterize the music. From a simple musical culture perspective you find a bit of a melting pot of influences here that make the songs especially interesting. Toss in the metal and you have yourself a record that is pretty darn unique in terms of... well just about everything. The approach these guys have to folk metal is distinctly unique and it leaves me begging for more. The way they mix ethereal female cleans with harsh growls is especially cool. These factors converge to make tracks like Memory and Woe especially interesting, fully showcasing all the band is capable of.

In conclusion, if you want a folk metal band who are a little different than their contemporaries, who are not afraid to do their own thing then Grai is the band for you. Warmot the Bitter Grass is not your typical folk metal record, yet it could still very much appeal to fans of the genre. IT proves that their is a lot of good still coming from a scene that some write off as played out. I for one am looking for more from these Vic Record signees and I sincerely hope that their next record will deliver as this one did. So come one, come all, discover the power that true folk metal can have on your soul!

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