Independent Release

Review by Si Smith

Russia already has a name for great folk metal, but hot on the heels of the existant masters come St Petersburg’s Woodscream. Following on from 3 singles released over the last few years, Woodscream now release their first EP containing 5 songs of quality Russian folk metal lyrically based around the dark tales of the Middle Ages. “Equilibrium” launches the listener into the action with a deceptively traditional folk-rock melody – before instantly baptising them into a sea of riffage and boldly sung vocals. The tone is upbeat and the music quite exhilarating, adding in deftly-handled violin solos for good measure. Second offering “Abbot John” marches in with a more narrative structure and chugging rhythm, followed by some keyboard acrobatics. The vocals are clear and insistent, the Russian lyrics seeming very much in keeping with the general sound of the music. Once again the violin jaunts a merry accompaniment. “Black Death” is more solemn as befits the subject matter. Some growled vocals appear alongside Valentina‘s vocals, adding a little more variety at this point, then more growls introduce a spoken section, presumably continuing the “Black Death” theme. By now Woodscream appear quite confident in their stride, clear about where they want to go and how they want to get there. “Ballad of the Shannon River” occupies more traditional folk metal territory, with jolly violin licks and rolling tempo. A flute solo adds yet a little more variety here before continuing the familiar lilting rhythm. “Aconite” brings the EP to a close with another solidly backed folk melody, bringing a final uplifting jollity to the proceedings that leaves the listener with a positive vibe and with violin melodies ringing in their ears. In short, a highly accomplished piece which whets the appetite for their upcoming first full-length which will hopefully come out later this year. Woodscream are definitely in it for the long haul.

Rating – 85/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Равновесие / Equilibrium
  2. Аббат Джон / Abbot John
  3. Чёрная Смерть / Black Death
  4. Баллада о Реке Шэннон / The Ballad of Shannon River
  5. Аконит / Aconite

 

Line Up

  • Valentina Tsyganova – Vocals, Flutes, Whistles & Percussion
  • Alexander Klimov – Vocals, Guitars
  • Anastasia Guseva – Violin
  • Ivan Budkin – Bass
  • Pavel Malyshev – Drums

 

Links

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