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From the dark king to the bloodthirsty Khan - 85%

kluseba, July 1st, 2013

With their second release “Khan”, The Samans go away from the industrial metal and Neue Deutsche Härte driven debut release “Weltreich” and head for a more folk metal driven sound with prominent melodic death and gothic metal elements. Lyrically, the band has also changed from its darker stories to historically and mythically inspired tales.

The best example comes in form of the mighty opener “Crown Of Thorns”. It’s a vivid symphonic metal track with raw gothic metal vocals and haunting lyrics about the last hours in the life of Jesus Christ. The band sounds like a mixture of Finnish Children Of Bodom and German Crematory at some points but they perfectly manage to find a mixture of harsh and melodic parts. Atmospherically and emotionally, the band has clearly improved its song writing in comparison to the first strike.

Many songs of this record are also a lot more joyful than the material on “Weltreich”. The folk metal track “Black Lullaby” is sometimes appeasing and laid back and at another moment danceable and vivid. “Flying Dutchman” is even more cheerful and could also come from a band like Alestorm musically and lyrically. The song though surprises with a darker break in the second half that almost heads for a doom metal direction. The majestic title song “Khan” could directly come from Turisas and mixes harsher parts in form of riffs and vocals with calm and epic moments in form of keyboard and folk sounds.

The band delivers a quite vivid record that never gets boring and the only negative points I could think of are the lack of an own identity and maybe the lack of something like a coherent guiding line at some points. From electronic rockers like “Katana” to oriental folk sounds underplayed by strange narrative vocals as in the weird album closer “Father”, the band has a lot to offer and is definitely worth a few spins for fans of hard and modern folk metal despite one or two weaker tracks. The band is so creative and courageous in the execution of its ideas that the flaws don't leave a deeper negative Impression and make you want to hear more from this band. Let's hope that these guys from the metal developing country come around soon enough with an international full length release.

Originally written for The Metal Observer