Barbarian folk metal band GOD (The Barbarian Horde) from Iasi, Romania are celebrating their 20th anniversary with a brand new EP “Zal Mox“. Those who have followed this cult band since 1994, know that each new release is actually a musical redirection for them! They started as an extreme grind metal band and through the years they experimented with melodic, atmospheric, Gothic and avant-garde black metal, with doom and death metal, as well as with pagan and epic folk metal among other genres! This new EP, serves as an appetizer for the band’s upcoming full-length “Forefathers: A Spiritual Heritage“.
In their recent works, GOD – The Barbarian Horde have an obvious turn to a more epic pagan sound and according to the band, “Zal Mox” illustrates their new beginning. Based on what I listen in this EP, I welcome this new beginning with greatest pleasure! The 5 songs of the album, that last over 31 minutes, are by far the more folkish compositions of the band ever. Their music is now a mixture of epic pagan folk metal with melodic extreme metal and many acoustic traditional instruments. I find their production improved a lot. Guitars, bass and drums sound clearer and more natural, but luckily enough their sound is far from polished. They have this unique natural folklore sound that I appreciate very much; something common in most Romanian folk metal bands! The use of local traditional instruments (violins, flute, dulcimer and accordion) adds honesty and authenticity in the atmosphere of the album, raising the quality of their music in higher levels. My favorite track is the brilliant blackened folklore epos “Greuceanul“, an almost 10-minute composition. Their music has still elements of their atmospheric Gothic synth-based roots and their vocals change from black metal screams, to epic folk clean male vocals, female vocals and choirs. Slower atmospheric metal parts, fast extreme folk black metal outburst, epic barbaric metal and acoustic folk interludes, are all combined in this versatile album. And even if everything is much more tight than before, I believe they still need to work for a more solid sound, without losing this natural feeling of their music. The same goes for the clean vocals that in my opinion need a slight improvement. “Zal Mox” is a conceptual album based on Dacian history and mythology. Three of the songs are in Romanian and one in English.
8 years after the EP “Hell & Heaven“, without counting compilations or promos, GOD – The Barbarian Horde make a very promising return with their new official release. I clearly prefer their new music style and I am looking forward for the next full-length album, on which they work for many years now. “Zal Mox” is self-released in standard jewel case CD-R edition, with 8-page pro-printed booklet, including all lyrics. Artwork is by Asmodaymon Rahu and Constantin ‘Costel Castor’ Lapusneanu. In their official pages you can find a lot of info about the band and listen to their music. You can also watch below the official lyric video for the melancholic ancestral hymn “Glia“, the 4th track of the EP.