Silent Stream of Godless Elegy

Návaz

01. Mokoš
02. Zlatohlav
03. Skryj Hlavu Do Dlaní
04. Přísahám
05. Slava
06. Sudice
07. Dva Stíny Mám
08. Pramen, Co Ví
09. Samodiva

[1/17/11]
[Season of Mist]

I wasn’t familiar with these guys when I first put this album on for a spin. The silly name got me to check out their Metal-Archives page, and when I saw they were doom/folk I was willing to check it out, not being a big fan of your traditional black and folk stuff. This is one of those random things that just works out. As far as releases, they’ve had 4 other albums (Iron, Behind the Shadows, Themes, Relic Dances) and 1 EP (Osameli). Their lineup consists of vocalists Hrnec and Hanele, guitarists Radúz and Mira, drummer David (lolwut), bassist Dušan, violinist Palo, and cellist Siki.

This album feels special to me. When I listen to it, I feel it move. It changes, it grows up. It breathes, it thinks, it’s alive. It has this overwhelming presence and atmosphere that it carries. There are things about this album that are hard to describe, so you know it’s good! Truth be told, this is my album of the year so far and it’s going to be hard to knock it down from its perch.

The traditional doom elements of this band are combined with influences from the Moravian region of ancient Czech Republic. The folk is never downplayed by heavy riffs or guttural vocals. Their style is very much a fusion of the two instead of folk coming in and saying hi whenever it feels like it. This is good. The lyrics are all sung in the native Czech, which I prefer. I love listening to singing in other languages because I don’t often understand it and the emotion comes straight from how well they are writing the music itself, instead of how well I can read the lyrics sheet. Emotion is present in every song written on this album, and no song feels the same. The album grow as time goes on, exposing you to different sides of it much like a pretty girl/woman.

Unlike with a lot of the folk metal I’ve listened to over the years, the cello and violin serve a purpose other than to say “hey, we can mix two styles of music”. This is evident in the fact that the guitar, bass, cello, and violin all work together. The guitar and bass aren’t constantly doubling the cello and violin, nor vice versa. They work together but they don’t try to be each other. They accomplish true teamwork. The rhythm on this album is very punch and forceful but not overwhelming. The drum work is great, and the mixing keeps it all in balance. The vocal work is brilliant. The harsh vocals are few and far between, leaving them as a welcomed surprise. The female vocals are amazing. This woman’s voice is perfect, as is her skill as a singer.

As far as the progression in writing on this release goes, once you hit Slava you know you’ve entered something different. Slava is the point in your relationship with this girl, now a woman, where you’re lighting the candles and dimming the lights. She gets a little crazy, but you like it. This becomes the bedroom dynamic for you two. Unlike the first 4 songs, after this turning point balance is thrown askew. Some songs are more percussive, some more traditional, some more metal. All these differences become the common feelings and situations in your relationship. Things, breakdown, things get confusing, things like that. But the core is always there and you both know it. The thought of leaving never crosses your mind. You won’t turn this album off until it’s finished, when you’re both in your graves.

Silent Stream of Godless Elegy – Návaz gets…

-mw

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