Review Summary: Highlights of Ukraine: 1.Women, Olga Kurylenko, Mila Jovivich, and Mila Kunis. 2. Black metal. This pretty little number contains some of the catchiest and most accessible drone influenced black metal to date.
There are two specific things that I love about Ukraine although I have never actually visited the promised land. Ukraine has a knack for producing some of the hottest babes on the planet as well as creating some of the most interesting black metal to date. It’s these two things alone that make it worth considering leaving this obese, corporate hellhole for a more cultural affair. First off is Milla Jovovich, an old favorite of mine starring in the superb Bruce Willis sci-fi epic The Fifth Element, the engaging tale based on Joan Of Arc, and all of the Resident Evil films not to mention boasting some musical talent of her own. Then there’s Mila Kunis, another fan favorite playing a large role in my favorite show of all time, That 70’s Show. To round out the trifecta is new Ukrainian super model turned actor in Olga Kurylenko who in my opinion is the hottest woman alive. Enough horsing around though, Ukraine has a darker secret that I would like to point out to you folks. The black metal scene, quite miniscule to Norway’s long and illustrious career nonetheless has proven to be one of the strongest breeding grounds to date producing such luminaries as Drudkh, Nokturnal Mortum, Hate Forest as well as bringing in fresh new blood in Kroda, Astrofaes, and the star attraction Walknut.
Walknut is a relatively new black metal outfit just releasing their debut “Graveforests and Their Shadows in 2007. The two members who make up Walknut are quite seasoned in the black metal scene already working with such bands like Temnozor, Woods Of The Fallen, and Forest. Walknut play the atmospheric/drone variety of black metal similar to countrymen Hate Forest and Drudkh minus the folk elements and over bearing raw production. Similarities aside, Walknut boast plenty of skill and creativity in forging a sound of their own through the limited confines of this mighty genre. Repetition is a trait that defines Walknut’s aggressive base, vocally and musically. The commonly used yet always effective tremolo picking technique is implemented here, albeit with heavy distortion. And dare I say it, the riffs reek of utter catchiness, which is quite uncommon for black metal. The riffs never really stray too far from it’s strictly aggressive/drone formula, which means no acoustic breaks, prog rock harmonies, flute soloing, or purple keyboards, but what they do is kick up a mean storm of tempo breaks and head banging rhythms suitable for prancing in your garage like a little face painted forest fairy.
As I said before, distortion is a heavily used effect that promotes atmospheric ambience in the sense of the drone sub genre yet never completely swallows the aggression. The vocals, courtesy of some Ukranian dude that remains faceless delivers an unintelligible assault to the senses. Like a wild boar goring some poor, South American Man. You can hear the man’s anguish but as a lets say Scandinavian, you are having a difficult time comprehending his voice. Nonetheless, you spring into battle and kill that boar Willow style saving the Spanish man from imminent death. As for the vocals, I’d say they were little under produced but something tells me this was intentional. The growling emits tones of agony and ghastly wailing bringing to mind an unpleasant image. The effect is numbing but successfully translates the black metal fury to tape. Bass and drums form a sturdy platform alternating between quick symbol splash downs and mid paced double bass fury.
Grave Forests reaches the near 45 minute mark with five full length songs exceeding the ten minute mark and one synth laced intro yet retains enough variety and accessibility to make this seem like a walk in the park. If any of you consider yourself a fan of Drudkh, Graveland, or quality black metal in general than I urge each and every one of you forest warriors to join me in my path to crush all of the weak and obedient slaves to the system known as modern society. The strike will be furious and unsympathetic, like a Viking horde sailing from the fjords of Norway to raid a Cher concert and leaving nothing but carnage and even more carnage behind. Those that are already enlisted to this tight little crew include Jrowa001, Angelphoenix, TheGodParticle, Hawks10Pec, and Squee102. Be M3TAL or else…………..