Purity Through Fire
This is the 5th album of ukrainian black/folk metalers from Kroda. Or maybe I should write "metaler", because this is also the first album released after leaving a band by one of the co-founders - Viterzgir.
Well, I am not sure if this is beacause of line up changes or not, by "Schwarzpfad" is much more rawer material than the previous ones. The ukrainian folk instruments are reduced here to minimum. But don't worry - Kroda haven't loose it's original sound. Traditional instrumentation this time is being used not to create an atmosphere, but to just highlights it. I love their previous stuff, but as for me that kind of playing is also pretty good! It can be clearly heard that Eisenslav decided to create much more darker compositions, and so to use more keyboard instead. It really works, the music is more mysterious and even a bit depressive. Just listen to this weird, haunted ending of the second track "Universal Provenances" which I am listenning now - it makes overwhelming impression.
Predominatingly characteristic, possessed vocals are howling desperately about the upcoming end of the world, guitars are mostly grinding listeners' ears with quite melodic, yet still very raw riffs and drums are quickly striking rhythm heralding the upcoming Ragnarok. Yet quite often everything turns into slower, more melancholic areas with usage of folk stuff or just acoustic guitars. But of course as I have written before don't expect another "Cry To Me, River..." because this time Korda explores more gloomy fields. The last novelty is the ending track "Cold Aurora", entirely composed as an cold, ambient thing. Most of the bands which tries to compose such things are just boring me to death, but in this case it's a great example how to end the album in a big way.
To make it quick, generally speaking I am glad that Eisenslav do not goes the easy way, but still tries to create something fresh. "Schwarzpfad" is a great piece of black metal art. The maniacs of that kind of playing should immediately get this album, if they haven't already do it. All hail Ragnarok!
1. First Snow
2. Universal Provenances
3. Forefather of Hangmen
4. Heil Ragnarok!
5. Cold Aurora