Dukhi Predkov is a newcomer in the folk metal scene, coming from the endless source for this genre, Russia. The band was formed in 2005, but they never released anything until now. Their name (Духи Πредков in Russian) means Spirits of the Ancestors and they call their music pagancore. Recently they signed a deal with the Russian label Metalism Records that has just released their debut album “Terra Ursorum”.
The music of this sextet has many different influences. I don’t know if the term pagancore is the appropriate to describe them. Of course metalcore and pagan metal are very dominant in their sound, but they are not the only music styles the band utilizes. Folk tunes and instruments (played with recorder and mouth harp), as well as symphonic melodic synths have also a key role in their music. There is a lot of variety in their songs. There are many parts (or whole songs) where they play typical folk pagan metal, combining black metal growls with clean female and male vocals or even choirs; and fewer parts where their sound has a more aggressive, rhythmic and less melodic approach and you can listen to their almost thrashcore influences and death metal colored vocals. So in my opinion the term folk pagancore metal is more accurate. It’s obvious the band tries to experiment with different music styles and the result is very interesting, especially for a debut. They want to develop a personal sound, but I think they need a better balance in their sound in order to have a more solid atmosphere throughout the whole album. I believe they have to work more on the merging of all their “core” influences with their folk metal. There are songs, like the opening track, where they blend all these styles skillfully, but there are also a few songs where one style dominates the other and you think you are listening to a different band. Of course the overall result is more than satisfying, with many nice ideas and they convince me they could do even better things in the future. Their production is more than ok, somewhere in the middle of their influences: neither too “polished” nor underground. The Latin title “Terra Ursorum” means “Land of Bears” and the concept of the album deals with a mythical island inhabited by people that worshiped the bear. All the lyrics are in Russian and you can find them in the booklet.
Fans of folk pagan metal shouldn’t overlook Dukhi Predkov. The album is released in a beautiful digibook by Metalism Records with bonus multimedia photos section and it’s limited to 500 copies. You can get a taste of their music in the links below and if you like what you listen the best way to buy the album is via their label’s eBay store, since it is unlikely to be distributed outside Russia.
Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos