Kroda - Fünf Jahre Kulturkampf

Kroda has gone through a bit of a lineup change within the past year or so. Now just down to one original member, Kroda left a bit of a legacy behind with their take on folkish black metal. To commemorate that, they've released a compilation of music that is full of different tracks, a few new ones, and a few covers. To hear this for the first time might be a bit confusing if one is new to the band because the first five tracks on this album are separate pieces compared to the next ten. From the opening intro, each track sounds greatly organic and folkish, as if the band wanted to go more for a spiritual, nature-focused attempt on folk metal. The flutes are wonderful to hear in their celtic nature such as on "Falcon Amongst The Cliffs," but they would sound a lot better if the acoustic guitar bits were present all the time and the heavily dissonant electric guitar/ black metal bits were turned away. "Native Land" is a much better example of the nature themed music by Kroda, and is even complete with howling winds and wolves.

The next tend tracks are more solid blackened folk metal. They still feature plenty of melody and flute bits amongst the heavy pounding of the drums and the pummeling riffs, but the vocals don't seem to suit the music well. Raw and sounding almost pained, they tend to strip the beauty out of the music and replace it with ugliness at being a bit too primal at times such as on "Winds From The Mountains." On "Where Brave Warriors Shall Meet Again," the vocals are a bit more tolerable and the Norse bit influence is welcome as the guitars take on a more melodic burst amongst the keyboards. "Funeral Pyres" offers a great new kind of folk instrumental with the chimes and horn section to go along with the keyboards and flutes. For those seeking a well shaped folk black metal track, try "Poppyflowers Are Blossoming." It features a good mix of constant flute action with the heavy guitar moments in black metal fashion, and the vocals finally seem to have found their niche in their raspy, painful way.

The compilation closes on two cover tracks. The first, by Absurd, is given the folk metal treatment in Kroda's own way by adding the flutes, and at the same time the vocals don't ruin it either. For once, they finally sound like decent black metal vocals. "Winds Of Changes" grants Kroda a chance to try something different. Here, they tend to stick more to the original sound of Sokyra Peruna in the way they structure the riffs, only allowing the acoustic parts and the flutes to come in at interludes. It is the vocals that will really surprise listeners as it goes for more a rough singing mixed with roars rather than an anguished bellow, which is more tolerable on the ears than usual. However, to compare Kroda to how they are now- with just one member- is like comparing apples and oranges. Are they better now as a one man band? Some might argue so. However, for those who miss the old line up can always turn to this compilation for a good mix of memories and blackened folk metal.

  1. Autumn… Twilight… Fog… (Intro)
  2. Falcon Among the Cliffs
  3. Seid Runar Flammer
  4. Ghosts of Birds
  5. Native Land (Intro) (Kampf version 2008)

  6. Cry to Me, River... (Kampf version 2008)
  7. Wind from the Mountains (Spring is Coming) (Kampf version 2008)
  8. Where Brave Warriors
  9. ...Funeral Pyres
  10. By the Hammer of Spirit and Identity of Blood... (Kampf version 2008)
  11. Oj, na Gori... (Ukrainian traditional song)
  12. Poppyflowers are Blossoming (Part II) (Kampf version 2008)

  13. the Last Autumnal Breath (Outro) (Kampf version 2008)
  14. Der Scharlachrote Tod (cover Absurd)
  15. Wind Of Changes (cover Sokyra Peruna)

Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Jun 7, 2011
Next review: Infestus - Ex_Ist

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