Release: 4 August 2023
Adarvirog is a huge, eight-piece Belarusian dark folk metal band. I never get tired of Eastern Europe’s folk metal contributions, and Adarvirog’s second album exceeds expectations. Čornaje Sonca (“Blacker than the Sun”) follows closely in form to 2017’s Край паданняў (“Edge of Traditions”). Besides being fun to say, Adarvirog has absolutely nailed their sound, and each track checks off the entire list of defining characteristics: Bottom-heavy metal? Check. Plaintive tones of fiddle, hurdy-gurdy, and other folk instruments? Check. Deep, growly vocals? Yep. Clean female lead? Also yes! It’s all the toppings on every track.
Bringing one’s A-game to each of the tracks has its limitations, though. It becomes difficult, as a native English speaker, to tell some of the tracks apart. It serves as a friendly reminder that I’m not the target audience, too. Lyrical themes are the typical folklore, nature, ravens, bones, and the endings in darkness typical of the genre. While limiting the scope of the songs, it does give us foreigners a look into the darker, murkier parts of Eastern European culture.
The tracks are, musically, all very interesting. Pieramiežža has a really great bass-forward opening, and Karol is dark and moody. The ending of Kali Zdradziŭ Sviet is a serious folk-forward blast. My favorite track, though, goes to Abudžeńnie for its rhythmic sorcery. It’s a real stand-out headbanger. The strength of Adarvirog is bringing so much power and variety to functionally-similar tracks through clever composition and mixing alongside prodigious amounts of raw musical talent.
I don’t speak the language, and this album still made me feel the emotion and power unleashed within the recording booth. I listened to this on the heels of their previous, debut album, and they’re both simply amazing. It’ll be great to hear if they can keep it up in the future.
- Kali Zdradziŭ Sviet
- Ciomnyja Vodi
- Nia Varty