Drygva – The Son Of The Mighty Rod [2010]

Band: Drygva
Album: The Son Of The Mighty Rod
Release year: 2010
Genre: Folk Metal/Pagan Metal/Slavic Metal

Drygva, a two-piece folk metal band from Belarus whom are extremely proud of their ancestral roots and heritage, bring something new to folk metal, a genre that seems to focus on Vikings and drinking. Their debut album, “The Son Of The Mighty Rod”, has been described as being able to take the listener back to age-old times of the pre-Christian Slavic peoples.

“The Prophesy” is the first track of the album, though it is more of a prelude than an actual track, being composed of the sound of horses, wind, acoustic guitars and other folk instrumentation, alongside narration in the band’s native tongue. “Path of Volkhves” calmly follows next with a flute medley introduction. The track turns savage with the introduction of the vocals. The guitars and drums are beefy and violent, whilst the lyrics, growled in Drygva’s native tongue, add a very folk element to the song. The flute and and string medleys add a harmonious yet dramatic atmosphere. The song, unexpectedly, finishes serenely.

The third song, “Mother of Enhydris” begins with a slow, melodic and wild intro, which sounds more tame when the flutes come in. Everything in the song seems to blend perfectly well from the masterfully composed flute sections to the savage yet intelligent guitar and drum work. The vocals sound raw and feral, adding to the mastery of the track. The tribal-like instrumental break half way through the track is different but brilliant and it works oddly well with the guitars before they fully take over the track again. “Son Of Mighty Rod” starts with a strange sounding guitar-flute intro. Some of the guitar sections lack consistency and don’t work too well with the other instruments in parts. The vocals are still impressive, as are the flutes. “Son Of Mighty Rod” is, at best, an average track with room for improvement in terms of the guitars.

The first interlude-styled track of the album is next in the form of “The Watchword”. The track features more narration in the band’s native tongue as well as tribal drum work and some guitar work, though the flute medleys pretty much are the best thing about “The Watchword”. “Under The Banner Of Perun” blasts its way next with a beastly drum section and face-melting guitar riffs. The folk instrumentation adds a very mythic sound to the song, keeping the grand and majestic sound of the album flowing. The carnal vocals keep the track brutal sounding as well. If there was one song that perfectly defines the sound of “Drygva”, then “Under The Banner Of Perun” is certainly is that song!

Nearing towards the end of the album is “Sigh Of War”. The flute medley that begins it is very serene and soothing whilst the guitar riff that follows is feral and ferocious. The drum work is acute, heavy and barbaric and the vocals are aggressive. Some of the flute medleys sound similar to the ones found earlier in the album, which is disappointing. The guitar solo is a genius addition to the track. The second and final interlude of the album comes next. “Thunderstorm” seems wrongly named at first due to the calm music that echoes throughout it, mixed with the whispered narration. However, a strong and powerful guitar riff follows, mixed with drums, folk instruments and the roaring sound of thunder.

”If You Shall Die In Battle” begins with the sound of men screaming in battle and the roaring sound of a melodic riff. The drum are thunderous and savage, whilst the flute sections are intelligently played. The song seems to get more fast-paced and violent as it goes on. The vocals are still strong, feral and bloodthirsty. The sound samples of men fighting in armed combat mix in well with the theme of the song, though it does give it a slight Viking Metal feel. The album finishes with “Festal Song”, a more folk orientated song sounding a little bit like the old song “Greensleeves”. The mighty sound of metal does make itself heard on this track – Fortunately enough for those who can’t stand folk music on its own. The vocals don’t seem as impressive on this track however and some of the riffs seem choppy.

As a debut album, “The Son Of The Mighty Rod” is not extremely impressive but it is better than average. Their blend of folk music and metal is certainly unique sounding and the use of lyrics in their native tongue gives the album a very folkish feel. There are some sections that need working upon and the of interludes throughout the album did take away from its musical impact but Drygva do certainly show a great deal of talent and hopefully they will be releasing more albums in the near future.

3.5/5

Nico Davidson

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