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SuidAkra - Realms of Odoric

Label: AFM
Format: CD
Released: 2016
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 8/ 10


If you can't get ahold of the new SuidAkra album, "Realms of Odoric," then the closest you can get to emulating the listening experience would be to cue up tracks from Dimension Zero, The Chieftains, Lacuna Coil, Type O Negative, the symphonic score to "Last of the Mohicans," Ravi Shankar, the score to your favorite low-budget Epic Fantasy film, and Children of Bodom. Then, play them all at the same time, muting some at random. On second thought. . . don't do that. Just listen to SuidAkra. European Metal infused with cultural elements and instrumentation from places other than the U.S. and London are not as uncommon as they once were. Eluveitie garnered some favorable attention with this approach a few years ago. The folksy sound is clearly a gimmick for some, but clearly not for SuidAkra.

 

There's a genuineness to their music, steeped heavily in the world of Celtic folklore and warfare (although I could swear there's a sitar that makes occasional appearances). The sound of the record is in constant flux. There's a battalion of different voices from verse to verse and song to song. Growling, clean, male, female, spoken - - it's all here. There are some fast-tempo moments when the Metal side really breaks through, but otherwise, the strongest pieces are the quieter, more cinematic pieces, which evoke imagery of armored horsemen shrouded in mists, atop rolling green hillsides. The final few tracks on the album do an excellent transition from their best heavy stuff to two quiet, powerfully moving songs: ‘Cimbric Requiem’ and ‘Remembrance’. Aside from these, ‘Pictish Pride’ is a good energetic one from the earlier part of the album, if a tad bit hokey.

 
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