Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Grond Vision Of Middle-Earth

Today's review is on a Slovakian (Bratislava) band called Orkrist. I've included this group as part of my fantasy/sci-fi theme because their second album touches on JRR Tolkiens Lord of the Rings. This is not a LOTR's based metal band, but tracks 3-9 are based on the LOTR works. "Grond" is their second and last outing as they have now split. I'd be interested in checking out their debut release, but I don't think it'll still be available....hmm .... ah well .... Orkrist play symphonic folk black metal (some may say doom, but I wouldn't) along the veins of Summoning with shout outs to Bal-Sagoth.

"Grond" begins with the Bal-Sagoth meets Summoning orchestral intro "For Lordaeron" which is majestic, yet peaceful accomplished by the folk elements. Then comes track 2 with yet more Orchestral intro work before we are blasted with Summoning inspired black metal. Keyboards play a large part in Orkrist, but I find that when accompanying the black metal parts it just enhances, not drown out the guitars or vocals. It really gives the music atmosphere and beautiful melodies. On songs "When The Autumn Comes", "Armageddon" as well as "Dreams Of Life Beyond My Shire Beloved" are good examples of use of female vocals. Lydia provides folk vocal stylings soprano like which adds more to the folk feel and provides a lovely contrast to the harsher black metal vocals. Think Visions Of Atlantis or later era Edenbridge.

The LOTR's part (tracks 3-9) start with the folky intro "Enter Middle-Earth" and then we get bombarded by "Glamdring" which is fast and majestic. This song along with "Dreams Of Life Beyond My Shire Beloved" and "Armageddon" continue in folk, black metal Summoning inspired style, but though the influence is strong they don't copy. Orkrist music does stand on its own. "The Ode: Fall Of Gil-Galad" is a folk song sung by Lydia with pub cheers and noises to add to the atmosphere. It's like a bard performing in a pub, nice touch.

"Shadowlord" has a dancy beat to it but the metalness makes it OK ... (cough,cough) ...

My favourite track was hard to pick. The album is quite strong and flows together as a river of music. And like trying to find the best part of a river, I've settled on the song "Rotten Veil Of Nakedness".I've picked this song cause it embraces all the elements that Orkrist incorporate into this album. It's a folky black metal song with choral Viking style choirs. It's (I think) the perfect mix of styles the band was going for. And the Flute/vocal/guitar melody for the versus' is nice and reminds me of Atrocity's "Cold Black Days" guitar/vocal treat.

Orkrist is a good band and brings together elements and styles and influences quite nicely so that nothing ever sounds like a clone or rip off, but blends into a unique sound. And this brings me to my next post. I'll be reviewing Furthest Shore's "Chronicles Of Hethenesse: Book 1 The Shadow Descends". As I was researching and finding photos, I came across a review of this album on a Metal Encyclopedia website. The review was bad, but not cause the album is, but cause the reviewer is. I'll rant about it in my next post.


Anonymous rockerchick said...

Rotten veil of nakedness..interesting title. But can they really be naked if they're wearing a veil? :P

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Mango Lane said...

I`m here to inform you of the day of FFMB`s party. It isn`t on Saturday but it has been changed to Friday. Hope to "see" you there.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Chana said...

evening. it seems i have missed a few of your post. i'm sorry, i don't know where my manners went. seriously, don't know why too, for i love stopping by even though you couldn't tell by my useless comments :) ..

thank you for liking the post so much. i would love to take credit for the words but i didn't write them. i have added a note to that extent now, i over looked that. i found a pretty inspirational story and saw those words and they jumped at me and stay with me. it seemed fitting to used them as that is how i was feeling for myself and others that night.

it was nice to be here again. hope you have a wonderful wknd.

11:36 PM  
Anonymous Mango Lane said...

Hi, it`s me again. This time I`m here to wish you a happy first year anniversary of the FFMB. I wonder if we could do a thrash metal showband tune sometime? Hmmm...

2:33 PM  
Blogger J. Andrew Lockhart said...

ditto with mango! :)

4:51 PM  

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