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Sõjaruun - Org CD
Genre: Black metal
Origin: Estonia
Released: 2009
Label: Black Devastation Records

The debut by Sõjaruun definitely caught my attention. They had a great folkish touch to their black metal that impressed. But since it was just an EP and contained only three tracks it was difficult to tell whether or not it would hold up on the long run. Here they are with their first fullength, and by the opening track the first time around I had a hunch I was in for something great.
Yup, Ühe teekonna algus is one hell of an opener. They skillfully blend nature samples with atmospheric folk inspired black metal, and it really sets the tone for the remainder of the album. It does so despite the fact that it doesn’t really sound a whole lot like the rest of the material, but the pagan atmosphere is present throughout its entirety. But musically it is quite diverse, with each track clearly differentiating itself. It’s evident this group of musicians has tons of ideas they want to get across, and they do so without it getting messy (you know, sometimes too many ideas will just ruin it). Take for instance the sudden appearance of an acoustic guitar in Piksevägi, the energetic tempo changes in Haldjad (which by the way starts off with a real heavy hitter of a riff) or the sudden disappearance of guitar in Ürgne; leaving the bass to do all the work with the assistance of a keyboard. Don’t be alarmed by that last part, however. The keyboard use is minimalistic, if not even non-existent throughout the rest of the album.
But the main bulk is still harsh melodic black metal. There are tons of great guitar lines, fantastic drum work and a wicked bass that is let to shine on occasions. For the most of the time the tempo is rather fast, with the fast drumming that goes with it, but it never reaches blasting. The tempo changes keep it highly interesting and stops it from getting stuck in a rut. The musicianship is really masterful, and it sounds extremely thought-through with all its acoustic passages and whatnot. This is presented in a vivid sound that complements the tunes to perfection, much more powerful than the self-titled predecessor. And I haven’t even mentioned the vocals; one of the most powerful aspects of the album. This man’s voice has a very harsh and raspy tone, yet it fits the melodic touch to perfection. Although I don’t understand a word of it, the use of their native tongue for lyrics adds to atmosphere.
I hope it doesn’t come off as just empty praise, ‘cause it feels like I’ve done nothing but praise the album. But in all honesty I just can’t find anything to remark on. If Sõjaruun keeps this up they’re gonna become a clear contender to Odal for the spot of favourite pagan black metal acts. Org is a great album and I definitely recommend everyone to check it out. I leave you with these words; I do believe myself to even be hearing a mouth harp.

01. Ühe teekonna algus
02. Verimets
03. Haldjad
04. Ürgne
05. Piksevägi
06. Iidne org kevadel
07. Sõjasajatus
08. Lõpu hämaruses
09. Älves

Author: mylastchapter
Zine: My Last Chapter

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