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Obiymy Doschu: Elehia

Based on the doomy folk music performed by this Ukrainian band and the forlorn cover of its debut CD, Elehia, you'd expect the vocals to be sung by a female most likely one with operatic tendencies. But Obiymy Doschu surprises with the deep and dramatic voice of Volodymyr Agafonkin, who brings a different degree of mournfulness to these nine songs with translated titles such as "The Dead Tree and The Wind," "The Withered Flowers of Her Soul" and "Fading Autumn." This is not a feel-good album.

But it is an exceptional album, in that it precisely captures how the collision of progressive rock, doom metal, and classical and folk music should sound. In addition to traditional rock instruments, Obiymy Doschu makes savvy use of a crying piano, acoustic guitar, viola, recorder and violin to subtly enhance the band's often sparse but epic soundscapes. Unfortunately, Agafonkin's native-tongue lyrics and the monotonous pace and mournful emotion of Elehia create weary listening by the midway point.

Judge Elehia for yourself; it is available for free on the band's website.

Track Listing:
1) Pid Hmaramy (Under Clouds)
2) Mertve Dervo i Viter (The Dead Tree and The Wind)
3) Zorenko Moya (My Little Star)
4) Yiyi Dushi Zivyali Kvity (The Withered Flowers of Her Soul)
5) Zghasayucha Osin (Fading Autumn)
6) Zymova Elehia (Winter Elegy)
7) Samotni Nochi (Lonely Nights)
8) Dorohoyu Vichnosti (On the Way of Eternity)
9) Svitanok (Sunrise) (Bonus Track)

Added: August 31st 2011
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Obiymy Doschu Website
Hits: 3473
Language: english

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Obiymy Doschu: Elehia
Posted by John OBoyle, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-08-30 15:59:59
My Score:

Judging by the doom laden prog landscape of music presented by Ukrainian band Obiymy Doschu the world is neither a happy nor bright place. One can usually tell a lot by perusing the artwork of a band, the album Elehia is no exception to that rule with its starkness which lays its emotional soul bare as does the music. The one thing that did throw me though was that the vocals are in Volodymyr Agafonkin's native tongue which did make it hard going at times, but the lyrics in the booklet are in English?

Volodymyr Agafonkin's dark and moroseful vocals add a certain emotion to the whole affair, from the albums opening line of "Pid Hmaramy, "I walk under clouds, they cry like an offended child, touching and hard", you just know this is going to be a dark path. His presentation does take some getting use to, hang in there as when the penny drops you will be deeply rewarded and that is, in essence the, beauty of this whole album.

Musically the band work through each song with precise and adept dexterity, finding balance in their choice of instruments that mournfully matches Agafonkin, creating a backdrop that just heightens the emotion of each piece. The only downside being the album just doesn't gather any sustained pace, which does create some monotonous moments, but there again on the balance of the subject matter, one wouldn't expect anything else.

"Yiyi Dushi Zivyali Kvity" sees the band creating a powerful and dynamic song that is memorable where they up the ante. The duet "Zghasayucha Osin" sees Hanna Kryvonos taking part mirroring Agafonkin adding that extra layer of depth and another layer of moroseness. Album standout song "Zymova Elehia" finds a perfect musical partnership, Kurbatova's keyboards paired with Vydrya violin work and Agafonkin vocally steps up a gear. In all honest Kurbatova's keyboard presence throughout the whole album is absolutely stunning. "Svitanok" the bonus track is a stunning electro acoustic ballad, we aren't talking power ballad, but it does feature again the ubiquitous violin sound, being a song that just builds to a climax.

On the whole the band has created a powerful and somewhat sublime album that works on so many differing levels which is definitely worth investigating further.

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