Darkestrah is the most known (if not the only one) black metal band from Kyrgyzstan, this unknown to many people Asian land in the western borders of China! They have released 3 great albums in the pagan black metal genre, all of them from No Colours Records and they have a good name in the underground.
Since all their releases so far were more than decent, I expected to listen to something good from their forth effort, but what I found in this album was much more than what I expected! Their pagan black metal is enriched by a folk oriental mood and the result is simply amazing. The concept of the album is about an epic journey from the depths of China to the shores of Syria, passing through all the great different civilizations and cultures in between! They use many traditional oriental instruments in their songs and the guitar lines are based on eastern scales, retaining though their epic black metal orientation. The 4 compositions (there is also an outro) are very long and they stay in mid-tempo rhythms most of time, with some tranquil and some “wilder” parts.
One other trademark of Darkestrah is the black metal female vocals of Kriegtalith, who is one of the best singers of the genre, with the perfect balance of emotion, rage, and expression, being both extreme and “bearable” at the same time… Combined with the brilliant melodies of the guitars and keyboards, as well as the excellent oriental touch of folk instruments, they create a unique atmosphere. They manage to compose a masterpiece that combines better than any effort of other bands of the genre black metal and traditional eastern music and scales. Through their music you can feel the ascetic loneliness of nomads, travel with caravans in endless deserts and participate in unknown culture’s rituals.
For me it’s one of the top 5 albums I’ve listened in 2008 and I totally recommend it to any fan of epic pagan black metal. If you also like oriental exotic folk approach in metal, then buy it with no second thought. The melodies, the quality and the sound of the band is close to perfection! It is released by Paragon Records in a beautiful digipak, with a nicely illustrated booklet, following the eastern atmosphere of the music. You can listen to their music at the following links.
Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos