This is not the easiest review ever attempted at The Ringmaster Review. Firstly the info behind the project Symon- Musica is hard to find and when found is in Belarusian/Russian and we all know what those online translators are like. Type in something related to the music and it will emerge in English as my fish fancies your sister with hairy feet. With a appreciated helping hand from Slava at Strong Music we can bring you some background to the release. First thing to say is that the album is simply magnificent, a slice of folk metal to leave the heart aflame and emotions flying.
The project and release Symon- Musica is a collaboration between symphonic black metal band Dialectic Soul (who I believe aforementioned Slava is a member) and vocalists from the folk ensemble Rechytskіya muzykі. The project finds its seeds back in 2003 as an idea from members of Dialectic Soul and with a song The Symon-Music appearing on a compilation Metallection III the following year. It seems the inspiration for the project comes from the poem “Symon-music” (1925) which was written by Jakubom Kolasom a literary giant said to have been the founder of Belorussian literature. The album was truly set in motion in 2010 when the members of Dialectic Soul, Slava Znakharenko (guitar), Alexander Kluchnikhov (Guitars, bass, drum programming), and Gala Kulitskay (keyboards) began working on the release. The trio brought in the vocalists of national folk ensemble Rechytskija of music, Victoria Bidovoj and Ilonoj Avramchikovoj as the project found its realisation and impressive results. The album received a limited edition release on Strong Music Productions in August 2011 but now has a wider release being sold through the likes of Napalm Records.
The most important piece of information regarding Symon- Musica is that it is simply outstanding, a festival of light and dark encapsulating the breath, passion, and tested emotions of the people, history, and land which spawn its creators. Opening track Сымон-музыка treats the ear to a jazz funk bass start as mesmeric and instinctive as you could ask for before the song spreads its expansive arms with stirring riffs, melodic keys and wonderful female voice and harmonies. The growling male vocals offer an excellent contrast and complimentary edge to the song matching the unrelenting rhythms and eager riffs. As the track swipes at the ear with gleeful mischief the female voices soar the skies in mesmeric splendour. It is an impressive start and folk metal at its best.
The following song Разважанне аб смерці raises the heat a little more as its surging veins of energy wrap fully around the ear with venomous black metal vocals. This is tempered by the warm melodic charms of the keys and female voices and against the blend of light and seemingly malice coated dark is impressive. These two songs alone would grab a favourable review whatever came next good or bad, especially with the teasing break within the second track playing like the lull before the returning storm of knee buckling invention and aggression.
With greater even pleasure the album reaches and achieves even greater heights with the next pair of irresistible pieces of magic in Родны край and Крыж няволі. The first offers a land of warmth and peace whilst the scowling vocals leap and bound across the song like a devilish sprite. It is the contagious hooks and melodic journey through the heart of the song which captivates the fullest to leave one intimidated but wanton in wanting to hear and feel much more. The second of the pair opens on an emotive pipe beckoning before erupting into a stunning treat of scorched melodic guitars. With the same power and magnificence of the essential riffs and stirring punk sound Skids conjured up in their prime, it is as irresistible as any siren.
These maybe the peak of the album but the rest of the songs take barely a glance back as the likes of the equally wonderful Вясна, the blazon imaginative Песня вольная, and Пушча with its rampant and dizzying aggression and untainted beauty, all ignite the deepest passions and brightest flames.
Sung in native tongue it is impossible to relay the lyrics but the heart and emotion within is unmissable. Symon- Musica is an album which will fire up fans of the likes of Arkona, Korpiklaani, and Midnattsol though it offers just as much for black metal and metal fans in general. It is unreservedly impressive and thoroughly enjoyable, what more could you want.