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Arian Vaejah > Арьяварта > Reviews
Arian Vaejah - Арьяварта

A hidden gem - 84%

El Pollo Diablo, September 21st, 2016
Written based on this version: 2009, CD, Boyanov Gimn Publishing (Limited edition, Pro CD-R)

For a band I found through the random band button, that only had one album, limited to 90 copies, this CD is outstanding.

With impressive soloing, great folky melodies, and even some well executed heavier, almost doomy sections, this band really shone despite the poor recording quality. In fact, the poor quality itself actually adds a layer of intrigue and uniqueness (as even small studios nowadays tend to have fairly good recording quality) and it seems to work well with the style the band takes.

Although I have to say my favorite element of this band is the vocals, with a very considered mixture of almost operatic clean vocals which add to the folk feel, and the guttural growls, which work really well to bridge the gap between folk and metal. I would love to comment on the lyrics, but I'm completely lacking in knowledge of any Russian, so all I can say for certain is that there are themes of Norse Paganism.

The opener of this album really kicks things off, and is probably the most enjoyable song on the album, with some excellent tempo changes, explosive and technical drumming parts, and real progression throughout the song.

From then on, songs become less varied within themselves, but remain strong, tending to become lighter as you go through the album. The exception is the cover of Therion's 'Ginnungagap', probably the heaviest song on the album, using almost no clean vocals, and a much lower pitch guitar sound. Whilst it is a decent cover (although I may have preferred a little more deviation from the original to make it their own), being situated in the latter half of the album between two much lighter songs slightly breaks the flow of the album.

In addition to the heavy metal sounds and folk elements, they also incorporate occasional more progressive elements throughout the album, making effective use of dissonant cords and off key guitar (such as in a central bridge from Скалы фьордов), which adds another dimension to draw in the listener. For added affect they also have some brief run in's with classical influences in the final song: a couple bars of piano melodies here and there, a more reserved and reverent tone, and occasional smatterings of 3/4 time make it a real pleasure to hear. Unfortunately, the cutoff of the final held note is rather abrupt, and just doesn't sound quite right, and so the album sadly finishes on a somewhat sour note.

Overall this is a musically excellent album, but if you're picky about the sound quality, you may want to give it a miss.