Release: 18 Februari 2022
“Tell the Wind” is the second full-length album from Slovenian six-member symphonic folk metal band Zaria, and the first to feature English-language songs! This band walks on the edge of the chasm of symphonic metal bands with operatic singers. I don’t like to name-drop other bands in my reviews, but there are a fair number of such bands trying to cash in on the trend starting in the late 90s. Zaria has a huge, epic symphonic arrangement with a proud power metal guitarist, a very talented operatic vocalist, and a fluttering of flutes that transcend the stereotype. For me, I love the natural theme, and the flex of recording Slovenian and English language songs.
The album bookends its content with two spoken language tracks. These are pleasant, well-produced, and have some sounds of nature and symphonic flourishes to make them sound more musical, but they have limited replay value. The album truly starts with “Where Adventures Begin”, and it’s one of the best tracks of the album. There are flutes, an orchestra, operatic vocals by Jerca Starc, and lyrics about adventuring and traveling. This is the good stuff. It ticks all the boxes for an adventuring anthem.
Unfortunately, the album isn’t perfect. The opening and adventure anthem both promise stories of epic events, but the album delivers something different. There are two mournful, rather tragic songs (“Evermore” and “V senci Triglava”), a song lamenting past adventures (“Through the Mists of the Past”), and a run of songs giving us an environmentally-themed allegory (“Gea”, “Dream of a Frozen Dragon”, and “Warlord”). The songwriters realized the theme of the album and threw in a drinking song “To Stealing, Cheating, Fighting and Drinking” almost by necessity. This is the weakest song of the album. The lyrics are awkward and the lead vocalist’s pretty voice seems out of place. Though, it’s still a great song, complete with all of Zaria’s signature ornamentations.
With this said, the album is well balanced. Aside from the spoken word opening and closing, “Where Adventures Begin” and “Tell the Wind” further bookend the album with songs about adventuring. This is a particularly good choice since the songs are so strong. The environmental message doesn’t fall flat, either. Gea– in the west, it’s usually spelled “Gaia”– introduces the growling male vocalist, Jakob Konda, singing of mankind’s hunger and mistreatment of nature. We meet the dragon, dreaming of mankind’s demise who comes to cleanse the earth in “Warlord”. It’s all towering and over the top, but balanced by “Ko vstane jutro”, a sad song in anticipation of a hopeless fight, and “Evermore” and “V senci Triglava”.
The album hosts many pretty melodies, much of which is provided by the flutist in “Evermore” and “Prek meglic preteklosti”, and also by the guitarist in “Dream of a Frozen Dragon”. And this sums up the album: it’s magical, beautiful and epic like a fantasy painting, balanced in every respect, and, all-in-all, a great delight. Check it out!
- Prophecies of Old 01:42
- Where Adventures Begin 04:32
- Evermore 04:54
- Prek meglic preteklosti 04:32
- Ko vstane jutro 05:11
- Gea 07:01
- Dream of a Frozen Dragon 06:23
- Warlord 04:41
- To Stealing, Cheating, Fighting and Drinking 03:29
- V senci Triglava 06:08
- Tell the Wind 04:58
- Until That Fateful Day 03:34