Odraedir – Pagan Forest [2011]

Band: Odraedir
Album: Pagan Forest
Release year: 2011
Genre: Folk Metal/Pagan Metal

The Czech Republic, a nation drenched in both Germanic and Slavic history, tradition and culture, as well as home to the forgotten mythologies of the Slavs is undoubtedly a land full of inspiration for the unknown Czech metal scene. Such is the case with the young folk metal project “Odraedir” and their recent demo “Pagan Forest”.

The demo begins with the title track “Pagan Forest”, which has a melodic intro which sounds like Iron Maiden meets folk metal. The vocals are raw and aggressive, bordering on death metal grunts. The drums are masterfully played, keeping the rhythm flowing throughout the song. The vocals become more death metal sounding as the song progresses whilst the guitars stay melodic yet brutal. “The Dawn of Odin’s Horde in Pagan Forest” starts with an acoustic section, creating the folky feel for the song. The song progresses into a heavier riff, which is very Ensiferum-esque. The vocals have taken on more of a death metal element as well. The riffs remain very melodic throughout the track. The drums are mediocre in their playing, but at least are audible.

”Occultism And Mystic Practises in Pagan Forest” has a very dark and grim sounding acoustic intro riff, setting a sombre mood for the listener. Like the previous track, it progresses into a heavier riff. There is a great use of cymbals, adding to the metal element of the song and the vocals are more bloodthirsty in their use as well. The riffs aren’t quite as melodic on throughout this song, which is disappointing for those who enjoy melody as opposed to aggression. The more light heartedly named “Asterix and Obelix in Pagan Forest” comes next with a more cheery sounding riff. The use of melodic makes its return to the demo during this song. The vocals sound quite gruff, contrasting well with the music. The drums are well played also. The demo finishes with the track “Fine Odraedir Mead” which has a very interesting intro, sounding more folky than the previous songs on the demo. The song has more of a rock element to it as opposed to a metal element, though this doesn’t ruin the song in any way, fortunately.

”Pagan Forest” is certainly an interesting demo to listen to. The sound quality might not be brilliant but it adds to the raw energy of the music. Whilst there is a heavy lack of keyboards and other folk-like elements, the demo is still enjoyable.

4/5

Nico Davidson

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