Rarog is another band from the great and ever-growing Slavic pagan folk metal scene. It is true that nowadays there are countless bands from Russia playing female fronted pagan metal metal, but I really believe Rarog deserve your attention, since they are very good at what they do. The band was formed in 2004 and next year they released their debut “Аз Бога Ведаю!”, a very promising album. Now, six years later they return with a much improved second effort.
As I have already mentioned, Rarog play folk metal with great female vocals, combined sometimes with pagan brutal male vocals and others with clean male ones. Their female singer Alexandra does an amazing work both in folk and operatic vocals and she can easily be compared with the best singers of the genre. Guitars, folk instruments and synths are perfectly orchestrated, each of them having equal importance in the compositions, in perfect harmony with their excellent vocals. All songs are brilliant. Amazing ideas one after the other; great riffs, countless folk instruments (accordion, flutes, violins, etc.) and beautiful vocal lines are filling every second of this album. The songs move from folk melodic mood, to furious pagan outbreaks and epic passages in the blink of an eye and still everything remains tight and meaningful. They have a faster tempo for the usual speeds of the genre and the album is quite long, with 12 songs and 51 minutes of great music. Of course everything is sang in Russian and the lyrics are based on Slavic history, mythology and traditions.
Anyway, Rarog is not the band that will redefine the genre, or that will add something fresh or new to it, but “Взойди Солнце” is one of the best albums (if not the best!) of the genre I have recently listened to. I can’t see any weakness in this release and I have nothing to suggest them to improve! I really hope fans of bands like Arkona and Alkonost will give it a try, it won’t disappoint them! It is released by the Russian label Sound Age and it comes with a nicely illustrated 28-page booklet! You can check some of their songs in their official pages.
Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos