Oprich, Piarevaracien, Chur – Triunity

Triunity is the coming together of three Slavonic bands to contribute to a conceptual project to express historical solidarity of their Slavonic nations and kinship of cultural roots. The split album sees Russian band Oprich, Belarusian band Piarevaracien, and Chur from the Ukraine, offering a trio of songs each of Slavonic pagan/folk metal showing the unique features of their national heritage.

Released by Casus Belli Musica of Russia as a limited edition hand-numbered collection CD, the album is a strong and enjoyable release which without lighting strong passions still makes for some decent and rewarding sounds. The three bands are strongly established in their homelands and their promo claims in folk metal worldwide, though one feels as with us that this release will be an introduction to a great many to the bands. It is a strong introduction though with the bands sure to find further followers to their accomplished sounds. Though none of the three bands bring groundbreaking or jaw dropping moments to the album all nine songs leave good and satisfying impressions.

Oprich are first up with their stirring blend of brawling metal energy and mesmeric flute enterprise. Formed in 1998 the band with their dual vocal approach and the flute enchantment has gathered great acclaim through 2005 mini album split Wolfen Loyalty with Ukrainians Kroda and debut album North The Boundless as well as their live performances. Their opening track Up The Rivers Of The North immediately stirs the passions with its attacking riffage and infectious flute beckoning. The song storms with a torrent of artillery like riffs and impactful rhythms, the energy of the song persistently inciteful and the melodic elements fully enticing. Though at times the metal side and folk side feel like two distinct and unconnected elements they lay side by side with ease with the band making them work perfectly. Arguably the best song on the release it is musically anthemic and infectious whilst the vocals without being anything special do a good job, even better as combined group harmonies.

The following songs The Volga and the excellent North The Boundless do not quite live up to their predecessor but bring enough strongly crafted sounds and invention to make Oprich a band to investigate further. Musically they are impressive with only the vocals the less striking element but their metal sounds are easily accessible, enjoyable, and at times bordering glorious.

Mensk band Piarevaracien also use a pipe sound in their music though overall they are less metal driven. As with their companions on the release their songs are sung in their native language which always seems to add something extra for us. Formed in 2006 the band found strong success with their albums Торны шлях (pronounced as Torny shliach) of 2008 and Spoviedž Kryvi in 2011, both receiving re-releases, the latter as an English sung version. Their triplet of songs My Autumn, Morning, and Ashes, have a gentler and less intense presence than from Oprich. Each has a folk core which through the pipes floats through the air with a warmth and ambient glow whilst the guitars stroke the senses with a tender and caring touch. The standout song is My Autumn though all again leaves one satisfied if not openly inspired.

Completing the line-up is Chur from Kherson another band formed in the mid 2000’s. They lie somewhere between the previous two artists, their folk metal offered with a firmer energy and directness than from Piarevaracien but with an immersive melodic atmosphere and ethnic sound to be less aggressive than Oprich, though their second track Over The River, Through The Woods (A Swallow Flew) is a feisty charge which lights the senses with its eagerness and air bristling energy. A guitar and keys driven band, Chur are quite skilled at creating emotive atmospheres and expressive hearts to their songs as shown by the mentioned song which rivals for best on the album, and their other two, There On The Mountain and O The Spring Is In A Field. Their releases to date such as albums Brate Vitre (2006) and Lykho (2009) have all brought good acclaim their way and going by the songs on this release it is no surprise. Again as with all the bands to be honest vocally they take a little adjusting too with the twin or group harmonies outshining the solo deliveries but it is never enough to really detract from the songs.

Triunity is a good release to introduce three strong bands to further world ears even in its limited form. It does not set new standards but neither gives anything less than pleasure which is all one really asks.

RingMaster 01/07/2012.

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