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I’m not all that familiar with the Estonian metal scene, but from what I’ve heard it seems to be on the rise. And with the country’s proximity to Finland, Russia and Sweden (each with relatively strong black metal scenes) it’s no surprise. And the lads of Sõjaruun are/were also involved in both Urt and Tarm, coincidently probably the only other two Estonian black metal bands I had heard of previous to receiving this record. But it’s no surprise I hadn’t heard of Sõjaruun before, since this is their debut. The band itself names Bathory, Helrunar, Nagelfar and old Satyricon as influences, but there’s definitely more to it.
This is certainly melodic black metal, but not overly melodic. For instance no keyboards have been used, which leaves all melody work to the strings. And there is some quite interesting guitar riffing, albeit none that sticks with you for long periods of time. What sticks out the most is probably the highly audible bass sound, which gives the music a very rumbling aspect (surprisingly also adding much to the melodic aspect). All while the raspy voice carries with it a lot of harshness as well as brutality.
A melodic, atmospheric intro starts the MCD off, reminiscing of a lot of Månegarm material, mixing in acoustic guitars and nature samples. But the pagan black metal quickly sets in, and I feel instantly thrown back in time to the early days of Månegarm and Lord Belial. Rather fast-paced and wicked drumming, that keeps the energy at a high level and leaves your legs constantly stomping along. But the lads intertwine it all with short breakdowns of acoustic guitar work, adding to the pagan atmosphere of it all. Võõras veri is the track that sticks out the most since it’s mostly set at a much slower pace. And I can’t help but to close my eyes and nod along to the great bass work. But I can’t help but to find the two previous tracks highly addictive. And it’s a fine debut with extremely great use of melodic, acoustic passages. It’ll be very interesting to see how they can transfer this onto a fullength.

Author: MyLastChapter
Zine: My Last Chapter

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