Metal Music Archives - 3/5

ОПРИЧЬ - Север вольный 2010OPRICH - North The Boundless [2010] CD

Exclusive folk metal has never really been my thing, it has always required at least a vague flavour of black metal to trigger my interest to any extent but, admittedly, there are some Eastern European acts that know how to do it right. Oprich’s North the Boundless is close to that, in that it combines aggressiveness with catchy compositions, not to forget the melancholic parts that I always tend to love the most on folk metal albums.

When I say catchy, do not expect any too simple pop song progressions here. What I mean is that on North the Boundless the sharp electric guitar sound brings the best out off the vivid guitar lines common in folk metal. In addition to the guitars, various traditional instruments are prominently incorporated into the music, often delivering the lead melodies. The drum sound is quite bright as well, and in fact the whole album is a rather polished affair that might not be for those who require some filthiness from their metal. The most I’m impressed of the masculine vocal output, both clean and growled, which is almost a necessity on an authentic folk metal piece.

For musical comparisons, Temnozor is easy to mention here, and as a fan of that band, one can guess that I indeed enjoy North the Boundless. It might not contain as epic songs as the aforementioned band inclines to feature on every album, but Oprich is probably deliberately focusing on the upbeat metal tracks, and the melancholic elements are only an occasional spice in the mix. As for individual tracks, I see no reason to mention any specific highlights as the quality remains intact throughout without any clearly weaker tracks.

North the Boundless isn’t the first nor last folk metal offering in this certain Eastern European fashion, and at what it does, it does it well. I would most likely choose a Temnozor album over this one any day, but North the Boundless is nonetheless a worthy investment for those fond of how folk metal is usually handled over at Russia and its neighbour countries. A three star rating is fully deserved in this case.



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