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Drygva calls in the cavalry - 80%

severzhavnost, June 12th, 2015

What a splendidly well-done collaboration! Дрыгва main man Alexei Stetsyuk enlisted the big guns of Russian folk metal for this single, vocalists Wolfenhirt of Сварга and Olga Lantseva, formerly with Невидь as well as occasional guest with Свагра. As with all good collaborations, В пасти новой войны is a smooth blend of the different artists involved.

Stetsyuk gets it started with some quintessentially Russian jangly pagan metal guitar, borrowed from a more Сварга-like upbeat feel than his usual Дрыгва darkness. Verses see the guitar step back a bit in favour of moody, anticipatory keyboard work under the vocals. He trades line-for-line between his capable but non-groundbreaking black metal shrieks and Wolfenhirt's powerful clear voice. The latter compares pretty well with the deep Viking voice of Heidevolk's Mark Bockting, which is very welcome to my ears.

Pagan-folky jigging guitars return in between verses. I say "in between verses" because there isn't really a distinguishable chorus - the mid part of the song features some quasi-traditional hey heying from Lantseva before repeating the opening verse. That may sound like Lantseva doesn't contribute much, but there's just something about the way Russian singers do those simplistic vocalizations that still manages to uphold a romantic, arcane atmosphere.

This little get-together really works. Adding the darkness of Дрыгва to the happier folk metal of Сварга makes for a seamless melding of talents, and a memorable listen. With his former band a thing of the past, I wouldn't be surprised to see Stetsyuk parlay this past project into a full membership in Сварга. And he'd be a welcome addition.