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Protokult: No Beer in Heaven

I've seen several folk metal bands perform over the last couple of years. Some of them are fantastic, building up plenty of musical energy for audiences to enjoy. Some, however, stick too close to one idea, making the evening more about a kind of metal polka than anything else. Fortunately, Protokult keeps things interesting by adding plenty of variety to their music. Those who only hear the opening track of this album will almost certainly get the wrong idea. This is folk metal, yes, but it's folk metal with twists and turns, shocks and surprises. Fans of folk metal will enjoy this album; my advice is to listen to the whole album before passing judgment. There's simply too much here to judge based on a quick and dirty listen. This is especially true with this release. The best tracks, in my opinion, come near the end. "Summer's Ode" is pretty good; so is "Water of Life." This album is, perhaps, a little darker than some of the other folk metal releases I've heard. The main thing is that the band moves regularly away from the dancing and the excitement of the folk elements. Sometimes they even explore some of the conventions of black metal. I liked these darker elements because they added some much-needed flavor to the music; sometimes folk metal bands spend all their time getting audiences to polka.

As good as this band sometimes was, the musical elements did not always blend together effectively. I really enjoyed Ekaterina's vocals, but they did not always seem to blend effectively Martin Drozd's own vocals. Separately, they were great; together, though, they sometimes seemed a bit too far apart. I also thought that the use of folk instruments sometimes did not blend well with the extreme metal instruments. We know that metal music can accommodate all kinds of instrumentation. Still, the elements should feel like they are working together naturally.

At the end of the album, there's about a 20 second break, followed by two tracks "Brotokult" and "We Smoke the Ganga." Of the two, "Brotokult" was pretty good, an unnecessary but fun 80s synthesizer throwback. "We Smoke the Ganga," though, was little more than an ode to pot that sounded like the outtakes from a bad Caribbean cruise band.

Track Listing:
1. Get Me a Beer!
2. Heaven Cast Me Out
3. My Father's Word
4. Flight of the Winged Hussar
5. Sol Intention
6. Edge of Time
7. Sanctuaries
8. Desert Scourge
9. Gorale
10. Summer's Ode
11. Razbival Okovi Perun
12. Water of Life
13. Brotokult
14. We Smoke the Ganga

Added: August 16th 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: band website
Hits: 1704
Language: english

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