Folk metal band Zaria from Slovenia has recently released its debut full-length album, entitled “Po poti življenja“. This new band from the town of Medvode was formed in 2011 by Inez and Miha, both ex-members of another Slovenian folk metal band, Brezno. Until 2012 their 6-piece line-up was completed and Zaria released their first EP “Sij obzorja” in 2013. In 2014 the band worked on its debut album and on December 18th they managed to self-release it.
Zaria play folk metal with a very rich and professional sound, borrowing elements from symphonic and epic metal. “Po poti življenja” is a very melodic album and its 11 songs last for over 48 minutes. Metal instruments, synths, acoustic traditional instruments and various vocal types, they all have equal roles in the band’s orchestrations. Their music moves mostly in mid-tempo rhythm with several slower ballad-like passages and a few extreme elements in some vocal parts. I believe that the trademarks of their music are the female vocals and the flutes, both performed by Inez. Their flutes carry out most of the lead traditional tunes, and this is for sure the most dominant “folk” element of their music. Inez vocals on the other hand, are mostly of an operatic nature, giving the band its symphonic metal color. She also sings with typical female vocals, often combined with epic clean male vocals, choirs and few brutal growls. This variety in the vocals adds a better balance in the whole work, since I find the operatic vocals a little bit tiring for my ears. All their lyrics are in their native language, something that gives the band an even more personal folk character. Zaria have composed a quite diverse work; some songs have a typical folk metal structure, others are closer to female-fronted symphonic metal, some of them sound more epic and others reveal an almost experimental progressive mood. Personally I prefer the epic folk parts of their music, but thankfully the album is very versatile, so I can’t complain.
Fans of folk metal have now another promising new band to check out. Zaria is for sure one of the leading bands of this genre in Slovenia and I am already looking forward for their next steps. “Po poti življenja” is released in a deluxe digipak edition CD with 16-page booklet, including all the lyrics. The wonderful graphic design is by Jakob Konda and the beautiful photography by Nejc Pavlič. The whole package and aesthetic, in addition to their great sound and perfect production, reveal the band’s attention to detail and it makes the album even more appealing to purchase. You can find more details in their official pages below.