Few countries, if any, have caught more attention than Iceland and Poland over the last year, when it comes to making headlines on the metal scene. With that in mind, it wasn’t without a glimpse of optimism that I dowloaded the promotion file I received a couple of weeks ago, from the polish band Jarun.
Besides a few bandphotos and a short bio, it contained their 2015 release “Pod niebem utkanym z popiołu.” (Under the sky woven from the ash) Despite the fact that it’s the bands second release, this is the first time I’ve personally heard of them. Shame on me.
In their bio, the band themselves, tells the story of what began as a solo project of guitarist Zagreus, and his wish to combine traditional folk music with black metal. The transition from one-man-band to a full fledged band setup took place in 2010 – resulting in the release of the debut album “Wziemiozstąpienie,” a couple of years later, in the early autumn of 2012.
The material on “Pod niebem utkanym z popiołu” is much more of a band effort – contrary to the first release that relied mostly on Zagreus solo writings.
From the first to the second album they have have undergone some stylistic change; the folk elements have been tuned down, leaving room for a more progressive inspired style of black metal. The influence of traditional slavic folk music can be heard in the more quit passages – mostly in terms of the extensive use of acoustic guitars. The beauty of the heavy strung acoustic riffs mixes frequently with catchy melodic lines on top.
The “progressive” label comes to justice in the structures of the songs – leaving enough space for harmonies, great melodies and especially the excellent musicianship itself to flourish. There is even such black metal oddities as guitar solos, to be found on this record. A great example of how they manage to mix, all of the above mentioned elements, is to be found in the song “Zawołaj mnie, a przyjdę.”
Since the release last year the line-up has only undergone the minor change, that Dawid Wierzbicki has taken over the bass-duties from Damian “Radogost” Szpiłyk, who features on this record. Dawid share the history with two other current members, vocalist Meph and drummer Pazuzu – who all used to be part of Formosus together.
One of the privileges of running your own blog is choosing what’s on it – and as I write on the “About” page, my reviews are to be seen as recommendations. I just don’t feel the need, nor do I have the time, to write about shit that doesn’t interest me or that I don’t like. With that in mind, it may come to no surprise that this album gets my honest recommendation.
According to Zagreus they are currently in the process of writing the follow up – hopefully to be recorded and released later this year. Until then, check out their bandcamp or facebook page, if you’re not afraid of diversity on the black metal scene. If you don’t – You might miss out on something truly great – just like I did..
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