Release: 12 May 2023
It’s been a while since we’ve done a Łysa Góra (meaning ‘bald mountain’) album. Łysa Góra is a five-member band whose past albums have been folk-forward and acoustic. This album is unique in its electric guitar and bass magic, and sadly, it’s extra special because it’s the last with violinist Sylwia Biernat who’s parting ways with the band.
The title track was released before the album as a single, and I strongly recommend listening to it. It tidily sums up the band’s sound and the spirit of the album. For those not listening, the lead singer Dorota has a simply amazing voice. There are some high-energy plaintive vocals, but most of the singing is somber and melancholy. There are guitars, bass, and drums that play nicely throughout the album. In such a vocally-driven performance, there’s really no room for showy guitar riffs or drum segments, but the “Oj Dolo” (“Oh, fate”) does feature some exceptional bass playing. On the folk end, the violinist also stands out and brings soul and spirit into each song.
Speaking of songs, each one is a meandering journey. No refrains, but quite a few memorable motifs and repeated phrases, almost exclusively in minor keys. The melodies are, like Łysa Góra’s other ventures, distinctly Slavic and eastern European, and even the guitar tones have a familiar sound to other bands in Poland and heading east. A few songs throw some sound effects into the mix. “Wdowa” (“Widow”), appropriately, has a church organ and some heavy drumming that’s evened out by the violin, and “Wolność” (“Freedom”), my personal favorite, starts with a dialogue and a woman crying. It’s a little heavy handed and not ideal for repeated listening, but the song is the strongest on the album.
This is the strongest album Łysa Góra’s created to date. Together, they capture the true embodiment of Slavic folk metal. They have a full tour schedule of both acoustic and electric shows. They’re highly recommended and worth checking out.
- W Ogniu Świat
- Wiedźma Bimbrownica
- Morowa Dziewica
- Oj Dolo
- Wino Porzeczkowe