Let’s begin this review quoting the words of Deena Weinstein from her acclaimed book about our beloved Heavy Metal:
(…) Metal is more vulnerable to appropriation by the media, but it is also more open to artistic experimentation.
Nothing fits better to Темнолесье (Darkshire) which made experimentation a rule. This “Сказания (Legends)” deserves all the way its name. I really do not know who was the one which had the wonderful idea of mixing lyrical voices with gutural. Fantastic outcome. Perfect contrasting. Orchestral and classical music have always been present in Metal’s world. Since the brit weirdos from Deep Purple, this mix has been done. Some bands better, some bands not so good. It’s the pure truth that Темнолесье (Darkshire) passed the test with flying colors. The piano and guitar parts of “Видение (Vision)” are absolutely outrageous. The main guitar riff is followed by an incredible keyboard tune. The perfect combination of aggression and beauty. The vocal duos also do an excellent job.
Vocal duos, by the way, are a stapler of Темнолесье (Darkshire). The last, but not least track, “Былина (Bylina),” is a lesson of how to combine a sick gritty voice with a lyrical one. In addition to a very well carved instrumental with a strong lead guitar riff. The capela in the beginning of “Егорий Храбрый (Egoriy the Brave)” is outstanding and drives the attention to the rest of the album. Vocal duets re the stapler of Темнолесье (Darkshire). One can notice the craftsman work in all songs. Every track is carved with finesse. A pretty good job of diversity of voices. Inasmuch the album is evolving, the care with the vocals gets more notable. Темнолесье (Darkshire) are as good as other stars of folk metal.
I’ll end this review quoting again Deena:
“Heavy metal, however, is not either loved or ignored, but loved or hated.”
- Егорий Храбрый (Egoriy the Brave)
- Гамаюн (Gamayun)
- Аркаим (Arkaim)
- Князь Святослав (Prince Svyatoslav)
- Видение (Vision)
- Удар Русских Богов (Beat the Russian Gods)
- Северный Ветер (North Wind)
- Хвалынский Поход (Khvalynsky Hike)
- Явление Предка (The Ancestor’s Phenomenon)
- Былина (Bylina)
Темнолесье (Darkshire) “Сказания (Legends)” was released via Satanah Records.
Watch “Видение (Vision)” official video here: