KRODA "Fünf Jahre Kulturkampf"(2011)
I could have given this a much higher rating. Honestly, though, the band has been around for only 5 years. Even the most pretentious bands didn’t release a greatest hits until they were at least passing the decade point. Besides, everything that is here, is also on the “Live in Lemberg” album, for the most part. Basically what you are doing is paying full price for 4 new songs, and thrice for the others (with the exception of some cover songs). I, as many other fans of the band, don’t mind having multiple recordings of the same songs, because, after all, the songs kick fucking ass! Nevertheless, it is a fairly pointless release except for the EP portion.
So I will skip the remade songs, and focus the majority of my efforts on the EP. First and foremost, this is definitely the most relaxing I think Kroda could EVER get. There is a lot of sythesizers, audio samples and a large amount of traditional folk music in this. It really sounds wonderful, and is definitely what I would consider a step out of the box. All the songs are extremely ethereal, and they did a wonderful job of conceptualizing the vast atmosphere, clouds, and a single falcon perched on a craggy rock-face. It reminds me greatly of Negura Bunget’s “Om”, for it’s psychedelic aspects, and is superb. The keyboard player did a great job. Guitar-wise, there are some very dissonant and fuzzy guitarwork that is very atypical of what Kroda’s montage has put forth since it’s conception. There is also a minimal use of electric guitars for a lot of the EP. There is, however, a lot of acoustic guitar which is, on the whole, unused by the band in their other releases. There is a heavier emphasis placed on the flute as well. This is much more above and beyond backing up the guitar riffs, and adding the folky element; the flutes really drive the melody. The only really “metal” song in my opinion is the song “Falcon Among the Cliffs”, and is very slow-paced and very introspective. This is also the only song that features screams and growls. The rest of the EP is whispering, which adds an element of coldness, and desolation; not unlike high altitudes, and rocky mountain tops crawling with lichen.
Overall, the EP is very well done, and is very relaxing. It makes me think, and conjures up a lot of wonderful images featuring mountain ranges, waterfalls, and beautiful crystal clean running rivers teaming with salmon and the like. This is what I believe the idea behind the EP was, and I feel it was met with resounding success.
Otherwise, the rest of the album is pretty much filler, with a couple covers that are better than the originals. Kroda really has a way of putting a spin of other band’s songs, specifically the Sokyra Peruna cover, and on previous releases the Branikald and Burzum covers. The songs have been redone with better production, mixing of the guitars, and other elements more evenly, and the use of real drums. Nonetheless, as I said before, it’s filler. The songs are great, I love them, but what I really wanted was new material, and I suppose I must remain satisfied with only 4 tracks of experimental conceptual EP’s.
I am definitely recommending this to everyone! If you are a fan of Kroda, folky pagan metal, and seeing how tangible nature is put to music, pick this up! I was wholly pleased with this album in it’s entirity, and it says something about a band that can compile almost a dozen wonderful “hits”, or at least fantastic songs over only 5 short years. This is definitely a culmination of how excellent these musicians are in there performance of their duties, and songwriting skills! (review from Metal Archives)