Bastion (Бастион) is a Russian band that was formed back in 2002, but never released a full-length album, until the July of 2011. At their early steps they used to play heavy / power metal, but soon enough they changed their style into pagan folk metal. After a few demos and many line-up changes their debut album “Рассвет Сварога / Dawn of Swarog” was finally released with the cooperation of two Russian labels, Volh Records and Der Schwarze Tod.
“Dawn of Swarog” is a very good album in my opinion, but it suffers from a mediocre production. They play pagan metal with many folk black metal elements. Their guitars move mostly on folk tunes and scales, accompanying the folk orchestrations, but there are also parts where their riffing becomes faster and their music gets a more aggressive raw underground sound. Traditional acoustic instruments (accordion, flutes) and keyboards give a quite melodic folk touch in their songs and it’s their strong card. There are also a few completely acoustic folk passages in their songs, that show a different and very interesting face of the band! There are 9 songs in this album that lasts for 49 minutes. Bastion are able of composing very catchy melodies, but as I already mentioned they need a lot of “technical” improvement, since everything sounds more like keyboard samples, rather than real instruments (including drums and guitars)! They use both pagan black metal screams and epic clean male vocals, while all of their lyrics are in Russian dealing with pagan themes and Slavic traditions.
Overall Bastion seems to be a promising band that can make something really good in the future, if only they work much more on their production. Of course this hasn’t prevented me at all from enjoying their debut. ”Рассвет Сварога / Dawn of Swarog” is released in standard jewel case, containing a 20-page booklet with very beautiful landscape photographs and all the lyrics. It is distributed by Twilight-distribution, so you have some chances to find it. You can visit their official profiles below to find more info and music samples.