Graj a Russian folk metal based band (for those unaware the name means Bird’s Cry) which reinforces their folklore theme music released their fourth album, “Ashes” on Noizgate Records on a digipak, with a cover track of Rotting Christ’s ‘…Pir Threontai’ serving as the close-out song. Needless to say, they play various instruments to convey the lost memories of distant loves.

The standout track which many metal listeners possibly identify with ‘Song of the Dead’ as it starts with doom metal moving swiftly into a folkish tone, backed by basic metal. It’s a common theme, the singing drives first with clear female vocals and later translates with more classic foundation elements, before incorporating heavy riffs, and snarling guitar work. This balance by powerful drums and occasional harsh vocals along with musician Aliia using recorders, and as an experience flautist it rises the level of the music adventure, a hint of comparison to Jethro Tull.

Presenting the track listing in English
Track List:
1 – Haze – 2:04
2 – Song of Dead – 5:22
3 – A Water Well – 4:43
4 – Darkness with Me – 4:02.
5 – Donya – 4:43
6 – Tread of Winter – 4:45
7 – Shade – 6:43
8 – Ashes – 4:08
9 – Fortress – 5:56
10 – Farewell – 3:46
11 – …Pir Threontai (Rotting Christ cover) – 3:54

Band Line-up:
Irina Zybina – vocals
Aliia “Leta” – flute, recorder, bagpipe
Ilnur – drums
Yurii Bedusenko – bass, growl, harp
Viktor Buznaev – guitars, acoustic guitars, growl
Ruzveld – guitars, acoustic guitars

If one knows of folk metal and heard the styles of Russian bands then you understand this mixed bag, the tracks sweep across multiple genres, sometimes a tad too light for the hardcore fans of black metal, but this band is not the genre. They feature themselves differently regardless of the stage photos, can’t make them into something they’re not, therefore accept or reject, it’s a love it or hate type of music, but its full of passion.

Baron’s Rating: 5/10 – Screams

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